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Europe's Digital Markets Act Takes a Hammer to Big Tech

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Technically the law still faces a final vote in the European Parliament and among representatives from the European Union’s 27 member-states, but its approval is considered a formality.

Credit: EU

If America's antitrust motto is "break up Big Tech," Europe now has its own variation: "Don't break them up, break them open."

That was the advice Cédric O, France's digital economy minister and a central figure in drafting the EU's new Digital Markets Act (DMA), said stuck with him as he negotiated radical new rules that aim to tackle the power of Big Tech in Europe. "That's what the DMA is doing today," he said in a press conference on Friday.

Hours before, late on Thursday evening, European lawmakers agreed on aggressive new rules that aim to crowbar open the app marketplace to let in smaller competitors.

The DMA, which is expected to be enforced before the end of this year, will require companies like Apple, Facebook parent Meta, and Google to let their services intertwine with those of rivals.

According to members of the European Parliament, this means Apple will be made to allow iPhone users to download apps from rival app stores, and WhatsApp will have to let people use its app to communicate with others using rival messengers.

If they don't, they could face fines of up to 20 percent of their global turnover, and the European Commission will also be able to impose a ban on mergers.

From Wired
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