EU lawmaker says tech rules should only target US tech giants

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The European Union should take a tougher stance when it comes to the Digital Markets Act. That is the view of a leading EU lawmaker involved in setting up these new rules. More specifically, the main focus of the new rules should only target monopolistic U.S. tech giants, like Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook.

The draft rules were proposed by Margrethe Vestager, the European Competition Commissioner, last year. Dubbed the Digital Markets Act, the set of rules could force U.S.-based tech giants to change their allegedly criminal but lucrative business models, to level the playing field.

A wide net

The DMA defined an internet gatekeeper as a company with more than $8 billion (6.5 billion euros) in annual European turnover in the last three years or 65 billion euros in market capitalization in the last financial year. It should also be a company that provides core platform service in at least three EU countries.

With this criterion, the net could catch big EU and Asian tech companies, in addition to their larger U.S. competitors. European Parliament lawmaker Andreas Schwab believes that the revenue threshold should be scaled to 10 billion euros, with a market cap of at least 100 billion.

The net gets smaller

With a modification like that, the net gets considerably smaller and will not target a handful of companies that are known for being notoriously anti-competitive and predatory in all the wrong ways. In his report, Schwab wrote that the DMA should target those platforms that are unquestionably gatekeepers, due to their size and impact on markets.

To that end, he thinks it appropriate to increase the quantitative thresholds and make them providers of not one but two core platform services.