EU Moves to Curb Market Power of Big Tech

Posted on October 12, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Amazon, Apple, Cloud, Google, Social with 16 Comments

A new report says that European Union regulators have drawn up a “hit list” of the 20 biggest tech companies whose market power it will curb.

The plan, first reported by The Financial Times, targets the 20 biggest Internet-related firms in the world, and includes at least Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. It will require these firms to operate under much more stringent regulations than smaller competitors, including “new rules that will force them to share data with rivals and an obligation to be more transparent on how they gather information.”

“The immense market power of these platforms is not good for competition,” one of the multiple sources cited by the report said.

“The internet as we know it is being destroyed,” another source noted. “Big platforms are invasive, they pay little tax and they destroy competition. This is not the internet we wanted.”

Apparently, the list isn’t yet final, but it will be determined by market share, revenues, number of users, and other criteria. It’s designed to overcome the biggest problem with today’s antitrust enforcement, which typically amounts to fines that, for these tech giants, are so small they’re just considered “the cost of doing business.” And business change requirements, when they do occur, are so slow that they’re ineffectual. The goal is now to move quickly.

And regulators aren’t against structure remedies, which would require Big Tech firms to break up into multiple companies if they wish to continue doing business in the EU.

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