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US tech giants like Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon should be regulated by the EU country they are based in, under proposed EU rules, according to top lawmakers. The stance pushes back efforts by some European countries to broaden the act’s reach.

We can only assume that the tech giants are lobbying to stop regulations that could prevent anti-competitive and questionable profit-seeking behaviour. The country-of-origin principle is included in Margrethe Vestager’s Digital Services Act, requiring US tech giants to police their platforms for illegal and harmful content.

Potential for weakness

The principle means that Ireland is responsible for regulating Apple, Google, and Facebook, because they have their European headquarters in the country, while Amazon is supervised by Luxembourg. France and a few other countries are looking to broaden the scope over worries that enforcement concentrated in one country is likely to weaken the rules and be open to corrupt/questionable actions that favour corporate greed over things like privacy and consumer protection. Christel Schaldemose, the lawmaker driving the DSA through the European Parliament and with the power to amend or add provisions, supports its core proposal.

The lawmaker in charge of the DSA speaks

Speaking to Reuters, she said that it makes sense to keep the country-of-origin principle. Schaldemose, however, wants to take things a step further by including a ban on some targeted ads in the DSA.

Targeted ads that are based on your behaviour online, for instance, should not be allowed. What should be allowed? “Advertisements based on the fact that you have visited websites for buying shoes and things like that, classic commercial advertisements should probably be allowed.”

The lawmaker added that she hopes to finalize the draft with other lawmakers in the next two months so she can work out a deal with EU countries next year before implementing the rules.