Some of the world’s largest technology firms face a new era of regulation in Europe after the EU passed two big pieces of legislation.
The Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA) were rubber stamped by the European Parliament on Tuesday, which aim to wrangle the dominance of the social media giants as well as Amazon, Apple, and Google.
The DMA legislation, for example, calls on the Big Tech “gatekeepers” to “ensure a fairer business environment and more services to consumers.”
The new laws will put pressure on tech companies to allow third-parties to interoperate with their own services, the EU says. This could affect Messaging apps like Apple’s iMessage for instance, as has already been proposed.
It would “allow third parties to inter-operate with their own services, meaning that smaller platforms will be able to request that dominant messaging platforms enable their users to exchange messages, send voice messages or files across messaging apps,” a press release says.
It could also require Apple and Google to allow third-party stores to set up shop on their platforms – something which both went to war with Epic Games over back in 2020 – and allow users to uninstall any pre-loaded apps they wish.
The Digital Services Act is designed to regulate the social media giants, including rules on countering illegal content quickly, stronger checks on traders using the services, increased transparency when it comes to recommendation algorithms and a complete ban on some types of targeting advertising. What the EU means by this is the prohibiting of “dark patterns and misleading practices aimed at manipulating users’ choices.”
While the legislation will be seen as a win for EU lawmakers, and perhaps consumers, enforcing the new laws will be difficult. The EU will look to punish repeat offenders to the tune of 20% of their global turnover. Good luck with that.