The European Parliament and Council agreed to changes to the Digital Markets Act Thursday, ending anti-competitive behavior of big tech companies.
The agreement introduced gatekeeper platforms, which would function as sanctions on the digital economy from market dominance constituting EU competition law breaches. These so-called platforms would prohibit bundling services and self-preferencing practices of tech companies. The sanctions will apply to companies with either €7.5 billion annual turnovers or at least 45 million monthly end users. The purpose, according to MEP Andrewa Schwab, is to focus on Big Tech companies to ensure they are allowing for “fair competition on the internet.”
Previously, lengthy antitrust cases would occur due to the lack of sanctions in legislation, and therefore the change in the Digital Markets Act would provide “more choice for consumers.” Companies such as Meta (Whatsapp and Facebook) will be required now to interoperate with smaller companies to further prevent market dominance within four years. Big Tech companies could face fines of 10-20 % of their annual worldwide turnover for infringement, placing a heavy burden on compliance.
French Minister of State, Cédric O, praised the rules saying that the rules are essential to “unlocking digital markets, enhancing consumer choice, enabling better value sharing in the digital economy and boosting innovation.”