EU Industry Chief Says Tech Firms Breaching Rules Could Face Service Bans

If technology companies do not heed European Union regulations, the regulators of bloc could ban the services of such companies from Europe, warned Europe’s industry chief Thierry Breton during an interview to the German weekly Welt am Sonntag,

The European Commission is currently finalizing new regulations to be imposed on internet companies.

On December 2, the new draft rules known as the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act will jointly be announced by Breton and European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

The do’s and don’ts for gatekeepers – online companies with market power, will be listed in the new rules, which would essentially force the companies to share data with their rival companies as well as regulators and not engage in unfair promotion of their services and products.

The new rules in the form of draft form the EU are set to be announced at a time when companies and industry bodies and others who are critics of United States based tech giants have raised questions about rulings against Alphabet unit Google by the EU. The critics have alleged that the ruling have failed to prevent the alleged anti-competitive behaviour of Google. Some have demanded that the EU enforcers should not limit their rulings to just passing orders on Google to stop anti-competitive business practices. 

As an extreme option, services of tech companies could be banned from the 27-country bloc by the EU according to the draft rules. There is currently no such power exists with the EU antitrust and digital regulators to impose such bans until such time that the draft rules are adopted.

“Strict rules must be enforceable”, Breton told Welt am Sonntag.

“For this we need the appropriate arsenal of possible measures: Impose fines, exclude companies or parts of their services from the Single Market, insist that they split up if they want to keep access to the Single Market. Or a combination of all of these.”

Those tech companies that do not show any respect to the rules of the EU will have to face the sanctions under the new rules, he added. He however also said that the toughest measures under the new rule would only be applied to companies under exceptional circumstances.

Last month, a 60-day strategy to get US allies to push back against the EU’s digital chief was launched by Google which is a clear signal of how much tech firms are concerned about the new regulation to be brought in by the EU.

(Adapted from Reuters.com)



Categories: Economy & Finance, Regulations & Legal, Strategy, Sustainability

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