EU lawmakers pass strict new rules affecting big US tech

EU lawmakers pass strict new rules affecting big US tech
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(Nov 23): The lead committee in the European Parliament writing new tech rules passed measures Tuesday that could impact major US and European tech companies. 

Lawmakers voted to approve measures in the draft Digital Markets Act that could mean: 

  • A company’s messaging or social media app is interoperable, to prevent users from feeling forced to use one or the other because that’s where their friends are
  • A ban on behavioral targeting of ads to minors
  • Fines of as much as 20% of a company’s global annual sales for breaches of the law

Companies identified as “gatekeepers” and therefore set to be accountable under the DMA include Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple and Booking.com, and could later hit online marketplaces Zalando and Alibaba.

The vote was a key step toward finalizing the EU’s tech rules, expected to come into force next year. The Parliament will begin negotiations with EU member states and Commission at the beginning of 2022.

Andreas Schwab, the lead negotiator in the European Parliament, defended this scope saying the European Commission only has limited resources to police the Digital Markets Act.