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EU Takes Aim at Big Tech's Power With Landmark Digital Act

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As early as next month, the European Union is expected to reach an agreement on a law that would force social media companies such as Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, to police their platforms more aggressively.

Credit: Chesnot/Getty Images

The European Union was expected to finalize this week one of the world's most far-reaching laws to address the power of the biggest tech companies, putting in place rules that will affect app stores, online advertising, e-commerce, messaging services and other everyday digital tools.

The law, called the Digital Markets Act, would be the most sweeping piece of digital policy since the bloc put the world's toughest rules to protect people's online data into effect in 2018. The legislation is aimed at stopping the largest tech platforms from using their interlocking services and considerable resources to box in users and squash emerging rivals, creating room for new entrants and fostering more competition.

What that means practically is that companies like Google could no longer collect data from different services to offer targeted ads without users' consent and that Apple might have to allow alternatives to its App Store on iPhones and iPads. Violators of the law, which would most likely take effect early next year, could face significant fines.

From The New York Times
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