EU countries agree on common Digital crackdown

EU countries agree on common Digital crackdown

BRUSSELS EU countries agreed on Thursday on a common position on new rules to curb the power of U.S. tech giants and force them to do more to control their platforms for illegal content.

They will have to iron out the final details with EU lawmakers who have proposed tougher rules and higher fines.

Frustrated by the slow pace of antitrust investigations, EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager has proposed two sets of rules known as the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act, targeting Amazon, Apple, Alphabet unit, and Facebook.

The DMA has a list of dos and don'ts for online gatekeepers - companies that control data and access to their platforms - reinforced by fines of up to 10 per cent of global turnover.

The Digital Services Act DSA requires tech giants to do more to tackle illegal content on their platforms, with fines of up to 6 per cent of global turnover for non-compliance.

The common position adopted by EU countries follows the main points proposed by Vestager, with some tweaks, with the European Commission as the main enforcer of the new rules despite an initial French proposal to give national watchdogs more power.

The rules are expected to be adopted in 2023, with negotiations expected to start next year.

The proposed DMA shows our willingness and ambition to regulate big tech and will hopefully set a trend worldwide, said Zdravko Po ival ek, Slovenian Minister for Economic Development and Technology.

Luxembourg, where Amazon has its European headquarters, welcomed the agreement which designates national watchdogs as the lead DSA enforcer for companies based in their countries.

Luxembourg is pleased that the country in which the intermediary is established is responsible for the enforcement of the harmonised rules of the DSA, in particular thanks to closer cooperation with the other Member States and the Commission, even though it comes to the very big players, in general, it said in a statement.