London, September 6
The European Union took action against big tech companies like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and TikTok to control their dominance in the online market.
The six companies were considered as important online platforms that will undergo close examination according to the Digital Markets Act of the 27-nation bloc.
The act is a set of rules that aims to stop big tech companies from controlling new digital markets. If they break these rules, they could be fined a lot of money or forced to split up.
The EU is making changes to its digital rules which started to take effect this year. These changes aim to keep internet users safe and are happening alongside another set of rules called the Digital Services Act.
European Commissioner Thierry Breton, who is responsible for the bloc’s digital policy, said before the announcement that it is important to make sure that all online platforms understand that they cannot behave as if they are too important to care.
The European Union’s executive Commission stated that digital platforms can be considered gatekeepers if they serve as important connections between companies and customers by offering essential platform services.
These services include Google’s Chrome browser, Microsoft’s Windows operating systems, chat apps like Meta’s WhatsApp, social networks like TikTok, and others that act as intermediaries like Amazon’s Marketplace and Apple’s App Store.
The companies have six months to follow the rules of the Digital Markets Act, which will make big tech companies change how they work.
Messaging services will need to be able to communicate and cooperate with one another. That means people who use Telegram or Signal can send messages or share videos with people who use WhatsApp.
Platforms cannot prioritize their own products or services over their competitors’ when displaying search results. So, Amazon can’t prioritize their own products over those from other sellers.
Online services cannot gather personal information about someone to create a profile for advertising purposes unless that person explicitly gives their permission.
Violations could lead to fines that are worth up to 10% of a company’s yearly worldwide income, and up to 20% for those who repeatedly offend, or even a breakup of the company. The text is already in simple words and does not require further simplification.