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The EU’s hit list ‘of tech giants for tighter regulation includes Apple

Apple is reported to be on an EU ‘hit list’ of technology companies that will be subject to much stricter regulation due to their market dominance.

The list is said to contain up to 20 technical giants, among them Amazon, Facebook and Google …

The Financial Times reports.

[The list is] likely include Silicon Valley giants such as Facebook and Apple, which will be subject to new and far stricter rules aimed at curbing their market power.

According to the plans, large platforms on the list must comply with stricter regulation than smaller competitors, according to people familiar with the discussions, including new rules that will force them to share data with rivals and a commitment to be more transparent on how they gather information.

The list will be compiled based on a number of criteria, including market share of revenue and number of users, which means that such as Facebook and Google are likely to be included. Those who are considered to be so powerful that rivals cannot trade without using their platforms can also be added.

An anonymous source quoted by FT said a brief description of these companies would be those that were considered “too big to care”

; about antitrust actions, able to pay fines without affecting their business. It says that the ultimate sanction must be the ability to break up the companies, for example, to force Apple to exclude the App Store as a completely separate business.

A special focus is said to be on so-called ‘gatekeeper’ companies, which have the power to decide to keep competitors off their platforms or to impose conditions to make it more difficult for them to compete. For example, Spotify claims that Apple does this because Apple Music users can subscribe from the app at the end of a free trial. Spotify users, on the other hand, can not do it without Apple taking a cut – and the very thin margins in streaming music will be this completely insurmountable. If the App Store was a separate business, Apple Music would either have to pay the same 30% commission, or the app business would have to remove the commission for all streaming music caps.

The EU will also ensure that companies such as Apple do not have an unfair advantage by having access to data on the popularity of apps that are not available to the rest of the market.

As part of its power, the EU seeks to go beyond just fines, which are often seen as just the cost of doing business. Instead, Brussels wants to be able to move quickly to force such as […] Apple to ensure that they provide access to competitors and that they share data with rivals.

While Europe takes a stricter line with competition than the United States, a congressional report also concluded that the App Store gives Apple a ‘monopoly’ over iOS apps, and contains proposals to force the break-up of tech giants.

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