Twenty years after the directive on digital companies and e-commerce, the European Union has determined to control the practices of digital giants. This activity fell to Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Inner Market and Digital, and Margrethe Vestager, Vice-President of the Fee accountable for competitors, on Tuesday 15 December. The European digital laws venture will “convey order to chaos” of web site visitors by regulating tech giants, mentioned Margrethe Vestager at an introductory press convention in Brussels.
Franceinfo particulars this venture, which goals to impose a authorized framework a minimum of for “subsequent ten to twenty years”, in keeping with Thierry Breton.
Gafam within the crosshairs, however not solely
The American giants Google, Amazon, Fb, Apple and Microsoft (Gafam) are within the sights in addition to the opposite very large digital gamers on the European market. In whole, Thierry Breton, visitor of France Inter Monday morning record “simply over ten systemic platforms” on the planet established on the European market.
Along with Gafam, Reserving (resort reservations), Alibaba (distance promoting), Bytedance (TikTok social community), Snapchat (social community) and Samsung (cellular telephony) correspond to the standards set by the EU to outline the “systemic platforms” lined by a draft digital laws.
To enter this class, a bunch will need to have within the EU a turnover of greater than 6.5 billion euros or a market valuation of greater than 65 billion. It should even be current in a minimum of three Member States and have greater than 45 million finish customers and greater than 10,000 consumer firms.
The DSA, a brand new textual content to restrict unlawful content material
“Platforms are much like kids: we’ve protected them from the foundations in order that they will develop, they’ve had their adolescent disaster, estimates from France Télévisions Alexandre de Streel, professor of European legislation on the College of Namur (Belgium) and specialist within the regulation of digital industries. Now, at 20, they need to study to stay in society and comply with the foundations like everybody else. “ One of many two texts that can assist them of their studying of grownup life known as the “Digital Service Act” (DSA) or, in French, “legal guidelines on digital companies”. This textual content goals to place in place a strict regulatory framework.
The DSA would require all on-line intermediaries to cooperate with regulators to take away unlawful content material, equivalent to requires homicide. The most important platforms, these with greater than 45 million customers (i.e. 10% of the EU’s inhabitants), shall be topic to obligations of means (human or automated) to ensure their means to intervene rapidly within the occasion of a notification. . “The DSA will apply to any on-line middleman, primarily platforms, subsequently, by imposing on them new obligations and duties referring to the content material they host”, introduced Thierry Breton on the finish of November in an interview with Point (paid merchandise). Every member state must designate a nationwide authority chargeable for regulating social networks. They are going to meet in a everlasting council at European degree to make sure correct compliance with the legal guidelines in pressure.
“And the DSA should make it doable to attain what all of us already suppose: what is allowed offline – in actual life – should be allowed on-line. And, conversely, what’s prohibited offline should be on-line“, explains a supply near the file throughout the European Fee to France Télévisions. We can’t have hateful content material within the bodily house, and subsequently not within the digital house both. This would be the case for the whole lot we’ve recognized as behaviors. ” Within the DSA, fines might attain as much as 6% of turnover and, “as a final resort”, the Fee will be capable of ban the service in Europe.
DMA to focus on the financial framework of platforms
The second textual content, known as the “Digital Markets Act” (DMA), complementary to the DSA, goals to arrange the European digital market from an financial perspective, which had by no means been considered earlier than, not like the DSA, which had the European directive of June 2000 as its ancestor. “The DMA will goal extra exactly the conduct of financial actors of systemic actors and abuses in the direction of their opponents or clients”, argued Thierry Breton at Level a number of weeks in the past.
“We’ll enhance the facility of the EU to curb unfair conduct by systemic platforms in order that the web doesn’t solely profit a handful of firms, however many small and medium-sized companies as properly.”, assures Thierry Breton to AFP. The “systemic platforms” must notify Brussels of any enterprise acquisition venture in Europe, regardless of the measurement of the goal, in an effort to management the seize of innovation and to not discourage potential new gamers available on the market.
For the skilled Alexandre de Streel, these two texts represent “a chunk of the puzzle within the extra assertive assertion of European sovereignty in digital issues, which is the nice geopolitical stake of the subsequent ten years between america, Europe and China. This requires an formidable industrial coverage, this which is new for Europe. ”
Giants that cannibalize a number of sectors
The financial weight of those mastodon platforms motivates the need to regularize Brussels. Amazon mentioned final July have increased its turnover by 40% in 2020 in comparison with July 2019. The corporate of billionaire Jeff Bezos communicated a web revenue of 5.2 billion between January and July 2020. Worldwide, it claimed 798,000 workers in 2019. Fb, for its half, had $ 70.7 billion in income final 12 months, nonetheless far behind Google with $ 161.9 billion in income final 12 months.
These figures are anticipated to enhance additional by the tip of the 12 months, as their affect has grown through the varied durations of confinement in Europe. “Whereas on the peak of the disaster, the world was virtually at a standstill, digital expertise has allowed us to proceed working, studying, exchanging, entertaining ourselves and sustaining hyperlinks with our family members, skilled Thierry Breton and Margrethe Vestager, in a column printed in Le Figaro, December 6. On-line platforms right this moment occupy a central place in our economic system and our society. “
Negotiations that can take a number of months to finish
Each texts are offered to the European Parliament, which should then vote on them. In an interview given on Tuesday to the Echoes, Thierry Breton declined the totally different levels of the 2 texts. The vote may happen “reyears the subsequent eighteen months, I hope, slipped Thierry Breton. In contrast to a directive which should be transposed into nationwide legislation, the DSA and the DMA are two laws which is able to come into pressure immediately after the vote of the European Parliament and the settlement of the States. members.”
The Gafams are already expressing their concern
Confronted with this offensive, the American mastodons are making ready intense lobbying to mitigate the venture, as revealed within the leak in November of an inside Google doc, the “Replace of the 60-day DSA plan “, evoking a need to weaken Thierry Breton via his lobbyists. The American large has additionally elevated its annual lobbying finances with the EU by 1,233% since 2011. In 2018, it was between $ eight and $ eight.25 million for 16 lobbyists, in keeping with the registry of transparency of the European Commission. That of Fb is estimated between four.25 and four.50 million on the service of 25 public relations specialists and that of Amazon oscillated, in 2019, between 1.75 and a couple of million for 10 lobbyists.
The Fee’s plan is prone to result in “brutal and inflexible guidelines focusing on measurement as a substitute of sanctioning problematic conduct”, says Kayvan Hazemi-Jebelli, accountable for competitors points for the Pc and Communications Business Affiliation (CCIA), which represents firms within the sector.
For his half, Karan Bhatia, vp of institutional relations at Google, reacted after the European press convention. “We’re nervous” that the proposals made by the European Fee “appear to particularly goal a handful of firms, and make it tougher to develop new merchandise to assist SMEs in Europe”, did he declare. The standoff has solely simply begun.