The European Union threatened on Tuesday (15) to split the big tech companies, the big technicians, if they repeatedly behaved in an anti-competitive manner.
The warning comes as Brussels publishes its drafts of two important new parts of the technology regulation.
The digital markets law will seek to combat unequal competition in the industry, and a digital services law will force tech companies to take more responsibility for illegal behavior on their platforms.
The long-awaited rules are the first major overhaul of the EU’s internet approach in two decades.
After the European Commission published its proposals on Tuesday, they will be voted on by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers and there is still no date to come into force.
Both regulations come with heavy fines for wrongdoing. Large technicians who deliberately violate the new competition rules will be fined up to 10% of their global sales. Companies that do not monitor their platforms are fined up to 6% of their global sales.
However, the draft Digital Markets Act also stipulates that large technicians fined three times in five years will be considered repeat offenders, and the EU will act to their business, according to two people with direct knowledge of the plans structurally separate.
If an investigation reveals systematic bad behavior that further strengthens a company’s position, the EU could “impose any behavioral or structural remedial action appropriate to the crime committed and necessary to ensure compliance”, it says Draft regulation.
The new rules, if legally approved in their current form, would be one of the strictest regulations for great technicians in the world.
They are also the realization that the existing competition law in the digital age is insufficient and too slow and could not contain the rapid rise and enormous market power of the Silicon Valley giants.
Companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple are also facing growing hostility in Europe for paying low local taxes, invading privacy and crushing their rivals.
Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, one of the directors in charge of reformulating digital rules, told the UK’s Financial Times in September: “The end-users of these platforms feel they are too big to care.” .
Margrethe Vestager, EU Executive Vice President for Competition and Digital Policy, recently expressed disappointment that antitrust investigations have not tamed Big Tech.
“It is painful to see that evil can happen very quickly in digital markets, but market recovery can be very difficult,” she recently told the Financial Times.
When it publishes its draft regulations, the EU will also determine how it will judge which companies are the “custodians” who determine the rules of the market. The criteria include the companies’ global sales in the last three years, their number of users and their market capitalization in the last year.
EU officials said market cap is an important metric as it determines a company’s ability to raise money quickly in order to attract potential competitors.
However, Brussels’s efforts to take action against large technologies will be politically debated and debated in the European Parliament and Council of Ministers for at least two years.
Paul Tang, a Socialist MEP who will be actively involved in discussing the new rules next year, said: “The Commission’s plans are good, but not enough to curb the tech giants’ monopoly.
“Instead, the Commission should aim directly to dismantle and at least dismantle the perverse business model of these technological giants: the monetization of personal data through advertising.”
Other European parliamentarians estimate that the great technicians will try to water down the new rules. Stéphanie Yon-Courtin, a legislator who played an important role in the discussions on European competition policy, said: “I assume that platforms will try to divide Parliament into simple and ‘wrong’ debates, such as for or against freedom of expression or for or against innovation “.