The European Union is initiating to set more restrictions on the activities and responsibilities of Tech giant companies. Margrethe Vestager, EU digital policy and antitrust chief, disclosed that this would have a tremendous impact on the taxes, privacy, and online content after implementing the limits. The continuing attempts at gaining power and influence by these Tech giants like Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon.
The European Commission is submitting proposals intended to affect these dominating companies. EU official Vestager also hopes to use the plans to change the companies' responsibilities that will go further to the current laws.
Vestager said, "It's a full complex of things. It's not done with just one piece of legislation."
He then added, "After the first mandate and the first specific competition cases, what I have seen very clearly is that we need rigorous competition-law enforcement, but we also need regulation."
The initiatives cover several areas and have been outlined over the last few weeks by the European Commission. Last week, Vestager pointed out three areas that are anticipated to be affected by new legislation, which is to be presented to the European Parliament before the end of 2020.
The Content Moderation
One area is to determine what the responsibilities of tech companies are regarding content posted by users. Under public consultation, the changes to the current Digital Services Act would update rules initially determined in 2000, in which the information is outdated.
According to the competition chief, The Digital Service Act was created when no one could have foreseen the situation we're in today. He then added, "that platforms would not just be channels, but full ecosystems were a lot of what is ongoing and monetized by the platform itself."
The Current rule segregates platforms such as social media platforms from being sued for controversial or misleading content. However, there have been suggestions of scaling back protections by lawmakers in both the EU and the United States to curtail misinformation, with the rules, thought to be the EU's solution. Vestager suggests the states would allow for the creation of redress mechanisms for removing content.
Vestager added, "As part of the same measures, companies operating such platforms would have to establish themselves as business entities within Europe to allow them to be governed by these sets of rules."
Apple commented on the Digital Services Act proposals and suggested that the "limited liability regime has helped deliver choice and innovation," but simultaneously advising for any new rules to be flexible. "What makes sense for public-facing, content-sharing platforms may not be appropriate or technically feasible for services used to facilitate private communications or storage," Apple continued.
The Competition among the Giants
As per Vestager, she wanted to have a refined investigative power to order companies within a sector to change how they behave, curb monopolies, and "prevent new gatekeepers from arising."
The Legislation proposals also incorporate measures to prevent significant firms from grinding smaller competitors in the market. This initiative is inspired by the antitrust cases laid against Google.
The Commission is running an investigation with Apple, explicitly covering App Store and its Apple pay.
The Digital Taxes
EU is preparing to proceed with the Digital Taxes despite the disagreement with US lawmakers over the matter. According to Vestager, the digital tax that affects Apple and other large-scale multinational tech firms is justified because it is fair.
"So many businesses have to work very hard to make a profit, and from that profit to then pay taxes," Vestager suggested. "They should not be met with competitors for capital, skilled employees and customers who do not contribute to society. That has nothing to do with where you come from; it has to do with doing business in an equal manner."