Global Big technology companies including Facebook, Apple, or Google brace for tough times ahead as the European Union plans to curb the power of tech companies by introducing stringent regulatory frameworks for these companies to do business in the country.
The European Union is currently negotiating landmark laws that once agreed could set a new standard worldwide on how US tech giants can operate. The effort has picked up momentum after the revelations of Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who will visit Brussels next month, of the company’s systemic failure to fix the harmful effects of its products, driven instead by boosting traffic and profit.
The tech giants are spending millions of euros on lobbying to influence lawmakers in the European Parliament and across the 27 member states, eager to protect their powerful profit centres such as targeted ads or big fees on app stores.
The EU has split its regulatory revolution into two laws, the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and the Digital Services Act. Slovenia, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, is working hard for the bloc’s 27 member states to clinch a common position on both laws at a meeting on November 25, a spokesperson said on Thursday. “Things are on a good way, but there are still some open questions,” another diplomat said of the DMA, which could potentially give the EU the power to split up big tech companies.
Meanwhile, the member states would then launch negotiations with the European Parliament with the view of finalising both laws to great fanfare during France’s EU presidency that begins in January.
The biggest threat to the ambitious timeline is at parliament, where the main political groups are still divided into major aspects of the laws. However, key lawmakers steering the legislation through parliament insist that compromises will be found and that the urgency to rein in big tech will prevail.
They hope their position will also be sealed in time for the French presidency.