The last features of a new law were smoothed out by EU negotiators. The EU DMA will compel major changes in how large digital firms operating in Europe, with substantial penalties and, in extreme situations, acquisition bans for the biggest violators. Negotiators in Brussels agreed on the new Digital Markets Act DMA on Thursday, which targets so-called gatekeeper corporations, such as Facebook and Google, who have the authority to regulate distribution in their markets.
EU DMA Will Target Tech Giants Like Meta, Apple, Microsoft
Companies having a market value of 75 billion euros ($82.4 billion) or 7.5 billion euros in yearly sales within the EU are considered “gatekeepers,” according to the agreement. At least 45 million monthly end-users and 10,000 annual business users of at least one fundamental platform, such as web browsers and virtual assistants, are required. Amazon.com Inc, Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc, Google parent Alphabet Inc, Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc, and Booking Holdings Inc would all be affected by the law, which goes into force next year. Zalando and Alibaba, two online marketplaces, may potentially be affected.
Antitrust investigations of large online businesses like Amazon and Google have long been underway in Brussels, but these proceedings have dragged on for years in the courts and have had little influence on the corporations’ behavior. Officials believe they need new measures like the Digital Markets Act to successfully shatter what the EU DMA claims are a grip on digital ecosystems by a few giants.
The Digital Markets Act, according to some industry professionals, would cause issues for users and be a financial burden for businesses. After the agreement, an Apple spokesperson wrote that the company is “concerned that some provisions of the EU DMA will cause undue security and privacy vulnerabilities for our users, while others will prevent us from charging for IP in which we have invested a significant amount of money.”
Others have expressed concerns that requiring messaging applications like WhatsApp or iMessage to be interoperable may compromise encryption or inhibit the iterative product development that is a characteristic of Silicon Valley business.