When it comes to holding back the big tech companies, the European Union is doing a great job Where Apple forced On the adoption of the USB-C port in iPhone devices and do not forget to protect data and now has been approved legislation that we can say about it as historic, which will work to regulate the work of companies such as Google, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, Amazon and others.
Big tech companies
The European Commission proposed the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and the Digital Services Act (DSA) in 2020 and now both laws have been formally adopted by the European Parliament as the Digital Services Package in order to rein in gatekeepers from big tech companies.
Gatekeeper means the giant companies that have a strong influence in the market. Apple is classified as a gatekeeper due to its annual sales volume in the European Union and its operation of platforms with a large number of active users. Therefore, it will be subject to the new law and any company that is described as a gatekeeper will have to Subsequently:
- Agree to sideload and allow users to install apps from third-party stores.
- Allow developers to offer alternative payment methods in apps and promote offers outside the store ecosystem.
- Allowing developers to integrate their digital apps and services directly with those of the gatekeeper This includes making messaging, voice, and video calling services interoperable with third-party services on demand.
- Give developers access to any system feature such as NFC, secure processors, authentication mechanisms, and software used to control these technologies.
- Allow users to install the apps they want and the ability to remove pre-installed apps in the phone.
- Giving users the option to change the default voice assistant to a third-party alternative.
- Share data and metrics with developers and competitors, including marketing and advertising performance data.
- Establishment of an independent “compliance function” group to monitor compliance of the gatekeepers with EU legislation with an independent senior manager, sufficient authority, resources and access to management.
- Informing the European Commission of mergers and acquisitions.
The new legislation also seeks to ensure that gatekeepers can no longer:
- Pre-installing certain apps and enforcing certain services on users such as web browsers.
- Require developers to use certain services or frameworks such as browser engines, payment systems, and proof of identity in order to list their apps in app stores.
- Giving their products, applications or services preferential treatment or prioritizing them over competitors.
- Reuse of private data collected during one service for use in another.
- Setting unfair terms for other companies.
The European legislature has also approved a Digital Services Act (DSA) that requires platforms to do more to monitor the internet for illegal content.
When and how will the new legislation be implemented?
The European Union will start implementing the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act in 2024, and gatekeepers who ignore the rules after that date will face fines of up to 10% of the company's total annual sales worldwide or 20% in the case of repeated violations as well as penalties. Periodicity of up to 5% of the company's total revenue worldwide.
When Gatekeepers commit systematic violations, the European Commission will be able to impose additional sanctions, such as obligating Gatekeeper to sell a division, business, or parts thereof including units, assets, intellectual property rights or trademarks, or even preventing Gatekeeper from acquiring any company Provides services in the digital sector.
To this day, Apple has vigorously resisted attempts by governments to force changes to its operating systems and services. For example, the company chose to pay a fine of $5.5 million each week for months in the Netherlands rather than allowing third-party payment systems on Dutch dating apps.
Outside the European Union, Apple's ecosystem is under increasingly intense scrutiny by governments around the world including in the US, UK, Japan, South Korea and others with claims to allow for sideloading and interoperability. and regulators around the world.
Finally, Google’s revenues last year amounted to about 257 billion dollars, so failure to comply with the laws of the European Union means a fine of up to 25 billion dollars, and for Apple, which achieved 366 billion dollars, this means a fine of 36 billion dollars, and these amounts are not simple even for giant companies such as Apple and Google and others.