The European Union has done it again.
Three years after a European privacy law forced big tech to overhaul how they deal with user data, European legislators have agreed on new sweeping legislation to rein in the market power of tech giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft.
Europe’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager on Thursday won backing from European Union members and EU lawmakers for her proposal, the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which targets so-called “gatekeeper” firms, requiring them to change allegedly anticompetitive practices or face major fines.
The new law, set to take effect next year, sets out a list of dos and don’ts that outlaw many of what are currently core business practices among major tech companies.
Apple, for example, will have to allow alternatives to its App Store for downloading apps and allow payment methods for the App Store other than Apple’s own. (Apple charges a 30% commission on all Apple App Store payments.)
Amazon will be barred from using data collected from outside sellers on its services to offer competing products, a practice already the subject of a separate E.U. antitrust investigation.
The regulation will apply to companies with a market value of €75 billion ($82.4 billion) or €7.5 billion ($8.26 billion) in annual revenue within the E.U., and at least 45 million monthly end-users and 10,000 yearly business users of at least one core platform, including web browsers and virtual assistants.
Violating the DMA will come at a hefty price. The law will apply fines of up to 10% of a company’s global annual sales for a first offence and up to 20% for repeat infringements.
Companies that routinely violate the rules will be temporarily banned from conducting mergers and acquisitions.
Original article at Hollywood Reporter