EU lawmakers agree to new antitrust & competition laws focused on big tech

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 5
European lawmakers have given the green light to antitrust law changes targeting self-preferencing by Apple and other big tech companies, but there are fears that it will be difficult to enforce the regulations.




Following months of negotiations and over a year and a half after being proposed, the European Parliament has approved the final iterations of the Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act. The legal reforms, which seek to curb the power of tech giants over the rest of the industry, have taken a major step towards becoming European law.

Ratified by MEPs on Tuesday, the DMA is a set of rules that cracks down on antitrust behavior, geared towards encouraging competition. The DSA passed with 588 votes in favor, reports ETNews, with only 11 votes against, and 31 abstentions.

Obligations are set for the "gatekeepers" to "ensure a fairer business environment and more services to consumers," the European Parliament says. These rules include allowing third-parties to "inter-operate" with services, such as enabling other firms to work with Apple's Messages platform.

It will also enable business users to access data they generate on a platform, enabling promotion and concluding contracts with customers outside of the platforms.

Platforms, such as those run by Apple, will be prevented from ranking their own services and products more favorably in generic search results. They will also be stopped from preventing users from easily uninstalling preloaded software or apps, or from accessing third-party app stores, and from processing user's personal data for targeted advertising.

These last points could greatly affect Apple, which has repeatedly fought to maintain the App Store as the only storefront consumers can easily access.

The DSA, which limits how companies can use any user data they collect for commercial activities and forces platforms to police user content to eliminate false information and hate speech, similarly passed with 539 votes for, 54 against, and with 30 abstentions.

These rules include obligations for platforms to act quicky over illegal content while maintaining fundamental rights, such as freedom of expression and data protection. There's also rules about "strengthened traceability and checks on traders in online marketplaces," more transparency and accountability of platforms, and bans on misleading practices and certain types of advertising.

While passed, the DSA and DMA won't become law until they gain final approval from the 27 EU member states, though this is typically a trivial matter. It could take a few months for that to occur, and since the DSA will apply across the EU 15 months or from January 2024 after the "entry into force," it's possible that Apple could have to start working to comply with the rules before the end of 2023.

The DMA will start to apply six months following its own "entry into force," with gatekeepers such as Apple having up to six months after being designated as such to comply.

Non-compliance with the rules could be costly to the companies involved. Following market investigations, the European Commission would have the power to impose fines of up to 10% of a company's total worldwide turnover in the preceding financial year, or up to 20% in cases of repeated non-complance.

DSA rapporteur Chistel Schaldemous said ""For too long tech giants have benefited from an absence of rules. The digital world has developed into a Wild West, with the biggest and strongest setting the rules. But there is a new sheriff in town - the DSA. Now rules and rights will be strengthened. We are opening up the black box of algorithms so that we can have a proper look at the moneymaking machines behind these social platforms."

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    Boo EU.

    Apple is not a digital gatekeeper, they are a product company, like Nintendo.
    bshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 44
    jas99jas99 Posts: 105member
    I don’t see this affecting Apple in a significant way. Apple will have to make some adjustments in peripheral business practices, but the ad-sellers (Facebook and Google) are much more affected. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 44
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,272member
    Boo EU.

    Apple is not a digital gatekeeper, they are a product company, like Nintendo.
    Apple actually meets the definition of digital gatekeeper and while it is also a hardware company, that hardware is 100% dependent on software which is tied to its services. 
    xiao-zhi
  • Reply 4 of 44
    avon b7 said: Apple actually meets the definition of digital gatekeeper and while it is also a hardware company, that hardware is 100% dependent on software which is tied to its services. 
    You keep trying to push the idea that Apple's success is entirely dependent on 3rd party software development but that is obviously a superficial take. Apple's 1st party operating system, 1st party hardware, 1st party processors and 1st party brick/mortar stores all have a reputation for high quality/high levels of customer satisfaction. That satisfaction helps drive platform sales AND developer interest in app development for the platform. The companies that have more generic off-the-shelf approaches are not equally successful despite the fact that they also have 3rd party app development. 
    aderutterJaiOh81byronlxiao-zhiMisterKitrob53bshankscstrrfwatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 5 of 44
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,272member
    avon b7 said: Apple actually meets the definition of digital gatekeeper and while it is also a hardware company, that hardware is 100% dependent on software which is tied to its services. 
    You keep trying to push the idea that Apple's success is entirely dependent on 3rd party software development but that is obviously a superficial take. Apple's 1st party operating system, 1st party hardware, 1st party processors and 1st party brick/mortar stores all have a reputation for high quality/high levels of customer satisfaction. That satisfaction helps drive platform sales AND developer interest in app development for the platform. The companies that have more generic off-the-shelf approaches are not equally successful despite the fact that they also have 3rd party app development. 
    Modern mobile digital devices are entirely dependent on 3rd party software. In that aspect, platform 'satisfaction' is irrelevant. 

    Take away the 3rd party software element from an iPhone, or a phone from any other manufacturer, and it will not be successful.

    Satisfaction will always play second fiddle to app development because without those apps you simply would not buy the phone and with that, any chance of satisfaction goes out the window.

    Look at the Mac. Same satisfaction you would argue, but when key software went AWOL, users had little option but to switch to another platform.

    Your purchasing needs will always override any satisfaction requirement, not least because part of your satisfaction is directly tied to the availability of platform software. 


    muthuk_vanalingamFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 6 of 44
    KTRKTR Posts: 240member
    Well to offset that and to stick it to the EU. Apple can increase your prices by 20% on hardware. They can start charging for future operating system releases. Then everyone gets screwed.
    bshankscstrrfwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 44
    KTRKTR Posts: 240member
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said: Apple actually meets the definition of digital gatekeeper and while it is also a hardware company, that hardware is 100% dependent on software which is tied to its services. 
    You keep trying to push the idea that Apple's success is entirely dependent on 3rd party software development but that is obviously a superficial take. Apple's 1st party operating system, 1st party hardware, 1st party processors and 1st party brick/mortar stores all have a reputation for high quality/high levels of customer satisfaction. That satisfaction helps drive platform sales AND developer interest in app development for the platform. The companies that have more generic off-the-shelf approaches are not equally successful despite the fact that they also have 3rd party app development. 
    Modern mobile digital devices are entirely dependent on 3rd party software. In that aspect, platform 'satisfaction' is irrelevant. 

    Take away the 3rd party software element from an iPhone, or a phone from any other manufacturer, and it will not be successful.

    Satisfaction will always play second fiddle to app development because without those apps you simply would not buy the phone and with that, any chance of satisfaction goes out the window.

    Look at the Mac. Same satisfaction you would argue, but when key software went AWOL, users had little option but to switch to another platform.

    Your purchasing needs will always override any satisfaction requirement, not least because part of your satisfaction is directly tied to the availability of platform software. 


    What key software are you referring to that went AWOL?
    scstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 44
    p-dogp-dog Posts: 118member
    This is an absolute disaster for consumers but a huge win for BIG app developers. Well, it will soon be back to the bad old days of using M$ Windoze in the 90s and 00s - endless virus and malware catastrophes and the need to constantly run CPU clock cycle-stealing, quickly-outdated anti-virus software. Ransomware, here we come! 

    (But, if it helps hypocritical grifters such as 300 pound gorillas Spotify and Epic Games, I guess that’s OK with the EU.)
    thtrob53scstrrfwatto_cobraFileMakerFellerjony0
  • Reply 9 of 44
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,272member
    KTR said:
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said: Apple actually meets the definition of digital gatekeeper and while it is also a hardware company, that hardware is 100% dependent on software which is tied to its services. 
    You keep trying to push the idea that Apple's success is entirely dependent on 3rd party software development but that is obviously a superficial take. Apple's 1st party operating system, 1st party hardware, 1st party processors and 1st party brick/mortar stores all have a reputation for high quality/high levels of customer satisfaction. That satisfaction helps drive platform sales AND developer interest in app development for the platform. The companies that have more generic off-the-shelf approaches are not equally successful despite the fact that they also have 3rd party app development. 
    Modern mobile digital devices are entirely dependent on 3rd party software. In that aspect, platform 'satisfaction' is irrelevant. 

    Take away the 3rd party software element from an iPhone, or a phone from any other manufacturer, and it will not be successful.

    Satisfaction will always play second fiddle to app development because without those apps you simply would not buy the phone and with that, any chance of satisfaction goes out the window.

    Look at the Mac. Same satisfaction you would argue, but when key software went AWOL, users had little option but to switch to another platform.

    Your purchasing needs will always override any satisfaction requirement, not least because part of your satisfaction is directly tied to the availability of platform software. 


    What key software are you referring to that went AWOL?
    Two cases that affected me directly and massively: 

    Deneba Canvas
    Office for Mac losing Visual Basic support

    In my case I didn't actually switch to Windows, I held out, but I knew others that switched. 

    There will be plenty more as everybody's needs are different. 
    muthuk_vanalingamFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 10 of 44
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,042member
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said: Apple actually meets the definition of digital gatekeeper and while it is also a hardware company, that hardware is 100% dependent on software which is tied to its services. 
    You keep trying to push the idea that Apple's success is entirely dependent on 3rd party software development but that is obviously a superficial take. Apple's 1st party operating system, 1st party hardware, 1st party processors and 1st party brick/mortar stores all have a reputation for high quality/high levels of customer satisfaction. That satisfaction helps drive platform sales AND developer interest in app development for the platform. The companies that have more generic off-the-shelf approaches are not equally successful despite the fact that they also have 3rd party app development. 
    Modern mobile digital devices are entirely dependent on 3rd party software. In that aspect, platform 'satisfaction' is irrelevant. 

    Take away the 3rd party software element from an iPhone, or a phone from any other manufacturer, and it will not be successful.

    Satisfaction will always play second fiddle to app development because without those apps you simply would not buy the phone and with that, any chance of satisfaction goes out the window.

    Look at the Mac. Same satisfaction you would argue, but when key software went AWOL, users had little option but to switch to another platform.

    Your purchasing needs will always override any satisfaction requirement, not least because part of your satisfaction is directly tied to the availability of platform software. 


    Some third party software is beneficial but not critical if the Apple store (ecosystem) was only one thousand apps (programs) the number of iPhones, Mac’s, iPads, and Apple Watches sold would be the same, aside from the OS itself the only critical must have programs are email, web browser and a message program.
    edited July 5 bshank
  • Reply 11 of 44
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,272member
    danox said:
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said: Apple actually meets the definition of digital gatekeeper and while it is also a hardware company, that hardware is 100% dependent on software which is tied to its services. 
    You keep trying to push the idea that Apple's success is entirely dependent on 3rd party software development but that is obviously a superficial take. Apple's 1st party operating system, 1st party hardware, 1st party processors and 1st party brick/mortar stores all have a reputation for high quality/high levels of customer satisfaction. That satisfaction helps drive platform sales AND developer interest in app development for the platform. The companies that have more generic off-the-shelf approaches are not equally successful despite the fact that they also have 3rd party app development. 
    Modern mobile digital devices are entirely dependent on 3rd party software. In that aspect, platform 'satisfaction' is irrelevant. 

    Take away the 3rd party software element from an iPhone, or a phone from any other manufacturer, and it will not be successful.

    Satisfaction will always play second fiddle to app development because without those apps you simply would not buy the phone and with that, any chance of satisfaction goes out the window.

    Look at the Mac. Same satisfaction you would argue, but when key software went AWOL, users had little option but to switch to another platform.

    Your purchasing needs will always override any satisfaction requirement, not least because part of your satisfaction is directly tied to the availability of platform software. 


    Some third party software is beneficial but not critical if the Apple store (ecosystem) was only one thousand apps (programs) the number of iPhones, Mac’s, iPads, and Apple Watches sold would be the same, aside from the OS itself the only critical must have programs are email, web browser and a message program.
    1,000,000, 1,000 or 100. It does not matter.

    If the apps you need aren't there, you won't buy if they are elsewhere. 
    muthuk_vanalingamscstrrfFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 12 of 44
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,922member
    Foolish EU decision. Allowing third parties to “innocently” have access to private data would be a disaster. Yet another “solution” looking for a problem. 
    bshankwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 13 of 44
    Apple should just make an EU model of iPhone that comes with the absolute bare minimum. No NFC or Secure Element — so, no Face/Touch ID, no Apple Pay etc. Zero apps pre installed except Settings and App Store (after all, preinstalling apps is “anti competitive”). Want to make calls? Text? Take photos? Browse the web? You now have total freedom — go download all the apps you want, on your own. Got a problem? Talk to the third party developer.
    edited July 5 danoxMisterKitbshankscstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 44
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,599member
    “Dear responsible,
    good luck with that. And one more thing;: the opposite of good is good Intentionen. F you, the consumer. “
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 44
    avon b7 said: Take away the 3rd party software element from an iPhone, or a phone from any other manufacturer, and it will not be successful.
    Take away the OS and the hardware and 3rd party development won't exist. There's no chicken/egg dynamic for iOS/iPhone. Apple had to put the R&D into iOS and the iPhone first. If Apple had screwed up the execution of either of those then customers and developers would have looked elsewhere. The original iPhone was a radical product relative to the rest of the market at the time. It was closer to desktop/laptop functionality than what developers were accustomed to with smartphones. Obviously there would have been very few developers anticipating that type of product at all in 2007.
    edited July 5 danoxbshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 44
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,272member
    avon b7 said: Take away the 3rd party software element from an iPhone, or a phone from any other manufacturer, and it will not be successful.
    Take away the OS and the hardware and 3rd party development won't exist. There's no chicken/egg dynamic for iOS/iPhone. Apple had to put the R&D into iOS and the iPhone first. If Apple had screwed up the execution of either of those then customers and developers would have looked elsewhere. The original iPhone was a radical product relative to the rest of the market at the time. It was closer to desktop/laptop functionality than what developers were accustomed to with smartphones. Obviously there would have been very few developers anticipating that type of product at all in 2007.
    But none of that changes what I said. 

    No matter how good the hardware/OS, if third party apps aren't there, the phone won't be successful. Apple isn't going to serve up a first party app to handle everyone's banking needs. No bank would allow it. 

    Take the hardware away and people will migrate to the web/G network. Most people's daily key apps are web/G dependent anyway. As 5G IoT becomes ubiquitous and 'distributed' systems become more widespread, the role of the 'phone' will be lessened. 

    Actual on device tasks are probably better suited to laptops/tablets anyway. 

    Where do you really want to edit that video you just recorded?

    Or on your AR/VR/XR glasses? Now there's a thought!

    Ditto reading and replying to social media and the like. I can imagine plenty of situations where having the equivalent of a large screen projected before my eyes would be preferable to squinting at a phone screen. 
  • Reply 17 of 44
    thttht Posts: 4,436member
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said: Apple actually meets the definition of digital gatekeeper and while it is also a hardware company, that hardware is 100% dependent on software which is tied to its services. 
    You keep trying to push the idea that Apple's success is entirely dependent on 3rd party software development but that is obviously a superficial take. Apple's 1st party operating system, 1st party hardware, 1st party processors and 1st party brick/mortar stores all have a reputation for high quality/high levels of customer satisfaction. That satisfaction helps drive platform sales AND developer interest in app development for the platform. The companies that have more generic off-the-shelf approaches are not equally successful despite the fact that they also have 3rd party app development. 
    Modern mobile digital devices are entirely dependent on 3rd party software. In that aspect, platform 'satisfaction' is irrelevant. 

    Take away the 3rd party software element from an iPhone, or a phone from any other manufacturer, and it will not be successful.

    Satisfaction will always play second fiddle to app development because without those apps you simply would not buy the phone and with that, any chance of satisfaction goes out the window.

    Look at the Mac. Same satisfaction you would argue, but when key software went AWOL, users had little option but to switch to another platform.

    Your purchasing needs will always override any satisfaction requirement, not least because part of your satisfaction is directly tied to the availability of platform software. 
    If 3rd party software provides the value in a platform, why is Apple affected by the EU passing this gatekeepers law? Why are they included in "Big Tech"? 3rd party software could ignore Apple, not publish any software on its platforms, and Apple will be in decline, no?


    danoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 44
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,606member
    avon b7 said:
    Boo EU.

    Apple is not a digital gatekeeper, they are a product company, like Nintendo.
    Apple actually meets the definition of digital gatekeeper and while it is also a hardware company, that hardware is 100% dependent on software which is tied to its services. 
    The only definition of a "gatekeeper" that the EU is concern about is that Apple is one of the big 5 US tech companies. All other criteria of being a "gatekeeper" is to exclude any company that are not one of the big 5 US techs. 

    https://www.reuters.com/technology/eu-tech-rules-should-only-target-dominant-companies-eu-lawmaker-says-2021-06-01/

    >BRUSSELS, June 1 (Reuters) - Draft rules aimed at reining in the power of Facebook Inc(FB.O), Alphabet Inc unit Google (GOOGL.O), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Apple Inc(AAPL.O)should only target these U.S. tech giants, a leading EU lawmaker said, signalling a tougher stand than EU antitrust regulators.<

    https://www.ft.com/content/2036d7e9-daa2-445d-8f88-6fcee745a259

    >“We are particularly concerned about recent comments by the European Parliament rapporteur for the Digital Markets Act, Andreas Schwab, who suggested the DMA should unquestionably target only the five biggest US firms,” said the email, seen by the Financial Times and dated June 9.<
    tmaybshankscstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 44
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,042member
    tht said:
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said: Apple actually meets the definition of digital gatekeeper and while it is also a hardware company, that hardware is 100% dependent on software which is tied to its services. 
    You keep trying to push the idea that Apple's success is entirely dependent on 3rd party software development but that is obviously a superficial take. Apple's 1st party operating system, 1st party hardware, 1st party processors and 1st party brick/mortar stores all have a reputation for high quality/high levels of customer satisfaction. That satisfaction helps drive platform sales AND developer interest in app development for the platform. The companies that have more generic off-the-shelf approaches are not equally successful despite the fact that they also have 3rd party app development. 
    Modern mobile digital devices are entirely dependent on 3rd party software. In that aspect, platform 'satisfaction' is irrelevant. 

    Take away the 3rd party software element from an iPhone, or a phone from any other manufacturer, and it will not be successful.

    Satisfaction will always play second fiddle to app development because without those apps you simply would not buy the phone and with that, any chance of satisfaction goes out the window.

    Look at the Mac. Same satisfaction you would argue, but when key software went AWOL, users had little option but to switch to another platform.

    Your purchasing needs will always override any satisfaction requirement, not least because part of your satisfaction is directly tied to the availability of platform software. 
    If 3rd party software provides the value in a platform, why is Apple affected by the EU passing this gatekeepers law? Why are they included in "Big Tech"? 3rd party software could ignore Apple, not publish any software on its platforms, and Apple will be in decline, no?



    The so called triple AAA gaming industry doesn’t bother developing much on the Apple platforms according to the Geeks, the lack of development does nothing to Apple’s bottom line, on the Mac, iPhone or iPad….

    If Apple went private like Nintendo, all third party developers would cry a river let me in.
    edited July 5 bshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 44
    MisterKitMisterKit Posts: 454member
    It would be no surprise if many people when given a choice will stay in the Apple ecosystem and not risk putting their Apple devices out in the wild. That's my plan.
    rob53tmaydanoxscstrrfwatto_cobrajony0
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