In a mighty blow to the Big Tech companies, European Union lawmakers have reached a deal on how to target these global tech giants to limit anti-competitive practices in the digital economy.
The European Parliament’s main political parties have agreed to a deal that would apply to companies with a market capitalisation of at least 80 billion euros ($91 billion) and offering at least one internet service, such as an online search.
The new rules would also draw more companies than previously thought into the EU’s planned Digital Markets Act (DMA) that the EU plans to implement the act next year.
The DMA, proposed by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager last year, aims to curb the powers of big tech companies with a list of dos and don’ts. The act will also help national competition authorities scrutinise tech companies’ acquisitions of smaller rivals, amid fears of them acquiring competitors cheaply.
Further companies including Alphabet unit Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft would fall under its scope, along with China’s Alibaba Group Holding and Netherlands’ Booking.
The US government has raised concerns that the new rules will come at the expense of US companies. EU representatives last week agreed that the European Commission will be the sole enforcer of the new tech rules.
EU ministers will formally ratify the agreement on November 25, as part of the bloc’s common position ahead of negotiations with EU lawmakers and the Commission on the draft rules known as the DMA before they can become law.