Science

The bill on digital markets toughened up by MEPs – sciences et Avenir

by Foo Yun Chee

STRASBOURG (Reuters) – The draft of European legislation on digital markets (Digital Markets Act), aimed at strengthening regulation of large companies in the sector, was toughened on Tuesday in a committee of the European Parliament, which was welcomed by Margrethe Vestager.

The vice president of the European Commission in charge of competition presented on December 15 a set of new rules – grouped into two bills, the Law on Digital Markets and the Law on Digital Services – aimed at large digital companies designated as “controllers of ‘access”.

According to the definition established by the European executive, “access controllers” have at least a turnover of 8 billion euros and a market capitalization of 80 billion euros, which includes in particular the “Gafam” of Amazon, Apple , Facebook, Google and Microsoft.

By 42 votes in favor, two votes against and one abstention, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection adopted a tougher position, which would also classify the booking.com site, the Chinese site Alibaba or the distributor as “access controllers”. online German. Zalando.

The commission proposes to extend the DMA to web browsers, virtual assistants and connected televisions, in addition to online matchmaking services, social media, search engines, operating systems, online advertising services, cloud computing and sharing services. videos already pointed out by Vestager.

He also wants the European Commission to be able to restrict the procurement of access controllers in areas included in the DMA, in order to remedy or prevent other attacks on the internal market. Access controllers will also be obliged to inform the Commission of any anticipated market concentration, he stressed.

Targeted advertisements will be allowed with the explicit and renewed informed consent of users, but prohibited for minors.

Failure to comply with these rules would lead to fines that represent no less than 4% and do not exceed 20% of world turnover during the previous year, added the MEPs, beyond the 10% proposed by the Vice-President of the Commission.

“We do not want large companies to grow more and more without improving and at the expense of consumers and the European economy as a whole,” said the rapporteur for the proposal, Conservative MEP Andreas Schwab.

“Very good news,” Margrethe Vestager tweeted in reaction to the proposal. “Today’s vote brings us one step closer to DMA adoption. One step closer to a free, fair and competitive technology marketplace where all players have the opportunity to enter.”

For their implementation, these rules must still be approved by the European Parliament in plenary session and by the member countries.

(French version Jean-Stéphane Brosse)

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