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Law of digital markets: the EU puts a brake on the power of technology

The European Union has provided details about his Digital markets law (Digital Markets Act, DMA), your bet to Balancing competition in the technology sector in Europe and curb big tech. Its purpose is also to make it possible for smaller technology companies to compete with the larger ones, which come mainly from the United States. Until now, when there was a problem related to the monopoly in which they were involved, the EU dealt with the problem on a case-by-case basis, but with this law it wants to pass reforms that address problems that affect the entire market and deal with them in a general way.

One of the points of the law refers to the interoperability of messaging apps such as WhatsApp, iMessage and Facebook Messenger. In this case, according to the text of the law, messaging service providers will have to «open up and interoperate with other smaller messaging platforms if requested«.

The European Union argues that this should give users more choice when sending messages, without having to know the platform used by the person receiving the messages. On the other hand, the law, which has not yet been approved because the EU alleges that it has to fine-tune the wording of the text and verify that it includes what they actually want to say, states that users should be able to freely choose their browser, their virtual assistants or your search engines. And if everything goes according to plan, it will be presented to the European Parliament for approval, and it will be approved around the month of October of this year.

Among the provisions already in its text are several new obligations for companies considered to be controllers of a sector (gatekeeper), that is, for those with a market capitalization of at least 75,000 million euros, more than 45,000 active users and a platform such as an app or social network. They are between them Google, Microsoft, Meta, Apple and Amazonbut also other smaller ones, such as Booking.com. Well, if they do not follow the rules, they can be subject to heavy fines and penalties.

In the case of economic sanctions «the Commission can impose fines of up to 10% of your total worldwide income during the previous fiscal year, and 20% in the case of repeated offending. In the case of systematic violations of the rules, the Commission can prohibit them from buying other companies for a certain period of time«.

In addition to the aforementioned interoperability, which considers that these controlling companies should open their platforms to work with similar services from smaller third parties, the law ensures the right of consumers to uninstall software and services. Especially those integrated and preloaded in mobile operating systems. They also get to choose, when they’re setting up a new device, which services they want to use for applications like email and web browsing.

The Digital Markets Law also reflects that companies should have access to the data they generate for large platforms. This implies, for example, that companies that sell products on e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon, can access the platform’s analytics on their performance.

The WFD also advocates more transparency in advertising, and to make sure that if a company, for example, hires advertising on Facebook, it is given the necessary tools so that it can independently verify the reach of its ads. Likewise, the Digital Markets Law also wants to ensure that companies cannot use their platforms to offer their products before those of other manufacturers, unless a kind of competitive contest is held for that position.

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