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This is the new Digital Markets Law: a change in the rules of the game in the EU

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At the heart of the debate on the importance of digital privacy, the European Union continues to lead the way with regulations that aim to offer a more secure environment. Now The EU has taken another step towards defending digital privacy with the new Digital Markets Law.

A provisional agreement has been reached on the Digital Markets Law, which, among several elements will seek to impose restrictions on how user data is shared, while also seeking to dilute the dominance of big tech players like Google, Meta, Apple or Amazon by imposing more open access between applications.

The Digital Markets Law contemplates the interoperability of messaging services

In the provisional text of the Digital Markets Law will apply to companies that provide central platform services, called “gatekeepers”. To qualify as a gatekeeper, companies must provide a core platform service in at least three countries in the EU, and have at least 45 million monthly end users, as well as more than 10,000 business users.

The first of these agreements contemplates the interoperability of messaging services. This means that once this Law is applied, the WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or iMessage services, among others, will have to open up and interoperate with other smaller messaging platforms.

Thus, users will be able to send messages, files or make video calls with users of other messaging applications regardless of whether they are from the same company. As for group chats, the requirement will be implemented over the next four years.

One more point in the sights of this new Law is that gatekeepers may not combine personal data from different sources to use for targeted advertising without the explicit consent of the user, and speaking of freedom, users will also be able to freely choose the browser, search engine or virtual assistant.

The fines could reach 20% of global turnover

In the event that companies fail to comply with the Digital Markets Law a fine will be applied that may reach 10% of the total worldwide turnover during the previous fiscal year, and in case of recidivism the fine will be 20%.

A further key part of the Digital Markets Act is focused on eliminating what the EU calls “killer takeovers”. «The commission may prohibit guardians from participating in acquisitions in the areas relevant to this regulation, such as digital or the use of sectors related to the use of data, for example gambling, research institutes, consumer goods, fitness devices, health monitoring financial services and for a limited period of time whenever necessary and in proportion to avoid damage caused by repeated infringements or to avoid additional damage to the contestability and fairness of the internal market.

An example of this is Meta, formerly Facebook, which has been repeatedly singled out for acquiring WhatsApp, Instagram and even Giphy to crush the competition, a factor that the EU does not want to leave uncovered in the new legislation. Thus, the Commission will be able to prohibit the guardian from buying other companies if it commits systematic infringements.

For now the text must be submitted for approval to the European Parliament and Council. The agreements in the Digital Markets Law will enter into force 20 days after their publication in the Official Journal of the EU and the rules will apply 6 months after that.

Image: Depositphotos

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