The European Commission wants to curb large digital companies

The European Commission wants to bring order to the digital economy, and big tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon are in the spotlight.

The aim is to protect consumers and prevent companies from abusing their dominant position.

“Whether on the street or on the screen, we should be able to shop safely. Whether by turning a page or sliding the cursor on the screen, we should be able to choose and trust the news we read. Because what is illegal is Internet is just as illegal online “, explained Margrethe Vestager, Vice-President of the European Commission.

There are two legislative proposals on the table:

In the first place, the one relating to Digital Market, whose objective is to facilitate the emergence of alternative companies. The text prohibits various practices, such as preventing users from uninstalling an application. Companies could be fined up to 10% of their turnover for continued serious infringement.

The second is related to Digital Services that forces you to remove illegal content. In this case the fines would be up to 6% of the billing. And the proposal ranges from hate speech to product counterfeits. It requires, among others, transparency about why a product or service is recommended to users.

In addition, the Commission defines for the first time which are the large platforms as those with more than 45 million users, or in other words, the equivalent of 10% of the block’s population.

The idea is that large companies have greater obligations and responsibilities. And this worries the Computer Industry Association. “We support efforts to foster innovation and competition, but hope that the final legislation will target problem behaviors rather than company size,” says Christian Borggreen of the CCIA.

The European Consumers Association highlights some of the changes it will bring about. “There is potential for this text to change the rules of the game. Because we see the problems that gatekeepers or leakers create competition online, negatively affecting consumer choice. And we also see how they negatively impact innovation. “

These new proposals will take months or even years to see the light, since they must be approved by the European Chamber and the Council. And along the way, a lot of pressure is expected from groups representing the tech giants.