EU ministers back crackdown on Big Tech bloc
European Union member states agreed on Thursday on their common position on two landmark pieces of legislation that could establish unprecedented Big Tech oversight.
Ministers from the 27 EU member states approved the texts at a meeting in Brussels, which will serve as market orders in negotiations with the European Parliament which are expected to start early next year.
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The Digital Services Act (DSA) and its companion Digital Markets Act (DMA) were proposed by the European Commission last year and are intended to give Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft never before seen limitations on how they are doing business.
The versions approved Thursday have remained fairly close to the original proposals, while the draft texts under consideration in Parliament are expected to make Big Tech’s requirements much stricter.
France, as the next holder of the EU presidency in January, will spearhead the talks and French President Emmanuel Macron has made an agreement on laws a priority for his six-month term. country.
The two texts are “perhaps the most important in the history of digital regulation”, declared the French Minister of Digital, Cédric O, upon his arrival for talks in Brussels, referring to a “historic day”.
The DSA is an attempt to harmonize the rules against illegal content online and would impose severe penalties for any failure to remove illegal speech or block sales of counterfeit products.
DMA, meanwhile, is a complete rewrite of the current competition rules for big tech companies and would hand them a dos and don’ts list about the way they do business.
The CCIA, the Big Tech lobby, said the DSA will provide welcome clarity on the regulation of online content in Europe.
On DMA, however, “it remains to be seen whether the hard work of the Council will ultimately result in a more competitive Europe,” he said.