Europe Prepares to Rewrite Internet Rules | Jobs Recent

Next week, a legislation is in effect that will change the Internet forever—and make it even harder to become a tech giant. On November 1, the European Union’s Digital Markets Act goes into effect, starting a process that is expected to force Amazon, Google, and Meta to make their platforms more open and interoperable by 2023. That can bring about huge changes in what people can do. with their devices and applications, in a new reminder that Europe has regulated technology companies more actively than the US.


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“We expect the results to be huge,” said Gerard de Graaf, a veteran EU official who helped pass the DMA earlier this year. Last month, he became director of the EU’s new office in San Francisco, which was set up in part to explain the effects of the law on Big Tech companies. De Graaf says they will be forced to open their walled gardens.

“If you have an iPhone, you should be able to download apps not just from the App Store but from other app stores or online,” de Graaf said, in a green-lettered conference room at the Irish consulate in San Francisco. , where the EU office is originally located. DMA requires dominant platforms to allow smaller competitors, and could force Meta’s WhatsApp to receive messages from competing apps like Signal or Telegram, or prevent Amazon, Apple, and Google from selecting their apps and services. .

Although the DMA goes into effect next week, the technology platforms don’t have to adapt quickly. The EU must first decide which companies are large and entrenched enough to be defined as “gatekeepers” under stricter rules. De Graaf expects that about a dozen companies will be in that group, which will be announced in the spring. The gatekeepers will have six months to follow the law.

De Graaf predicted a wave of lawsuits against Europe’s new Big Tech rules, but says he is in California to help explain to Silicon Valley giants that the rules have changed. The EU has levied huge fines on Google, Apple, and others in antitrust investigations, which puts the burden of proof on the authorities, he says. Under the DMA, the onus is on the business to get in line. “The important message is that the negotiations are over, we are in a position to comply with the rules,” said de Graaf. “You may not like it, but it is.”

Like the EU’s digital privacy law, GDPR, the DMA is expected to lead to changes in the way technology platforms serve the EU’s more than 400 million internet users, because some compliance information will be easily used around the world.

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