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    Why is Europe’s Digital Markets Act creating a stir? All you need to know

    Why is Europe’s Digital Markets Act creating a stir? All you need to know

    Why is Europe’s Digital Markets Act creating a stir? All you need to know
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Updated)


    The law will force bigwigs of the tech world to open their platforms for competitors. The Digital Markets Act faces final votes in the European Parliament.

    Following the implementation of a strict data protection law in the form of General Data Protection Regulation, Europe is now considering rolling out the Digital Markets Act to curb the dominance of big tech companies.

    The Act will force tech behemoths — like Google, Facebook, and Apple — to open up their services and platforms to other businesses. The law clarifies that it will only affect those companies, which have a value of more than €75bn (£63bn), annual sales of €7.5bn, and at least 45 million monthly users.

    However, the DMA faces final votes in the European Parliament as well as by ministers from the European Union's 27 member states.

    What will the law actually do?

    As stated earlier, the law will force big tech to open their platforms for competitors. For instance, Apple will be asked to open up its App Store to third-party payment options instead of users being forced to use Apple's own payment system. Also, the company will need to allow iPhone users in Europe to uninstall its Safari web browser and other company-imposed apps that users cannot currently delete.

    Coming to Google, it will be asked to offer Android users alternatives to its search engine, the Google Maps app, or its Chrome browser. The act has similar proposals for platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage.

    Why is the EU rolling out the Digital Markets Act?

    The legislation was mooted by EU’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager who has said that big tech companies have been indulging in “monopolistic behaviour”. In the past, she has raised concerns on how large tech companies, mainly from the United States, manage to delay and even thwart EU attempts to fine them.

    “Large gatekeeper platforms have prevented businesses and consumers from the benefit of competitive digital markets... What we want is simple: fair markets...in digital," says Vestager.

    According to the proposal, this regulatory Act will help the continent prevent "antitrust" or anti-competitive behaviour from big technology businesses.

    Reactions from tech giants

    Expectantly, the proposed law isn't something the tech companies wished for. While Apple has said it is "concerned that some provisions of the DMA will create unnecessary privacy and security vulnerabilities for our users", Google has issued a statement saying, "While we support many of the DMA's ambitions around consumer choice and interoperability, we're worried that some of these rules could reduce innovation and the choice available to Europeans."

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