EU working on criteria to distinguish tech giants

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Margrethe, European Commissioner for Competition, is working on a set of criteria to determine when a company can be defined as dominant. Such companies will have to comply with stricter legislation.

The legislation is mainly intended to keep tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google in check, according to Reuters. The EU can use these criteria to define market influence or weight.

These rules, known as the Digital Services Act, are set out to indicate how data should be shared and how digital marketplaces should operate.

Not adjusted to specific companies

“Obviously it will not be targeted at any specific company or any specific nationality,” Vestager told Reuters. “What is important is that they target a certain market weight, market influence and this is what will be guiding these criteria that we will set out.”

She goes on to say that she looks to build a set of reasonable criteria from the ground up. She does not intend to set the rules to target specific companies. Building a set of criteria from the ground up would be a more durable approach.

Don’t split up, but regulate

Vestager has previously spoken out in favour of tighter legislation for large tech companies. She defends companies that “have been built up, that have been invested in and that have become successful because of their innovation”. Breaking up these companies would mainly cause problems. She does, however, want stricter regulation to offer smaller competitors a fair chance on the market.

Apple, Facebook and Google stated that any new rules should be reasonable, proportionate and based on clear parameters.

December

Vestager will present her proposal on December 2nd. Thereafter, the Commission will negotiate it with the European Parliament and countries in the EU. This process could take up to two years.

Related: Should Europe compete for technological world domination?