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Monday, August 2, 2021
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Noose tightens around Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon as EU antitrust watchdogs seek bigger role in enforcing new IT rules

The new Digital Markets Act, which was proposed by the European Commission last year, targets global online companies that control data and access to their platforms

Tightening noose around the top global technology companies, German and French antitrust watchdogs along with other 25 EU countries have sought a bigger role in enforcing proposed new IT rules to rein in Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon’s easy run.

The new Markets Act (DMA), which was proposed by the European Commission last year, targets global online companies that control data and access to their platforms – which thousands of businesses and millions of Europeans rely on for their work or social interactions.

Under the draft legislation, three or more EU countries can ask the EU competition regulator to open an investigation while a digital markets advisory committee made up of national representatives will be consulted on fines and non-compliance.

The national antitrust agencies said giving them a bigger role in enforcement would make the DMA more effective and future-proof. “These authorities have accumulated the highest level of expertise within the with respect to the practices of digital platforms which affect fair and open competition in their respective ecosystems,” the EU watchdogs said.

“Enforcement powers could be shared, under the supervision of DG COMP, with national competition authorities, when appropriate,” antitrust agencies said. The agencies also asked for the power to start investigations on the basis of the DMA or called on to help during dawn raids.

In the last two years, France has slapped millions of euros in fines on Google and Apple for anti-competitive practices while the German antitrust authority, beefed up with new powers, opened investigations into Apple, Google, and Amazon in the last two months.

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