Brussels (Reuters) – The European Union on Tuesday unveiled its biggest changes to its digital markets law and Digital services law in 20 years, revising definitions of ‘gatekeeper’ to affect technology giants such as Google and Facebook in an effort to tighten oversight of content on platforms and ensure a level playing field for companies. Companies that break the rules face fines of between 6 per cent and 10 per cent of their annual global revenues.
Under the eu’s new definition, technology companies with millions of European users and at least two digital services, such as search engines or online advertising, will be classified as “gatekeepers”. Media reports quoted sources close to the Commission as saying that 10 tech companies were listed as “gatekeeping agents”, including Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, SnapChat, Alibaba of China, Bytedance, Samsung of South Korea and Booking.com, the global booking website.
Among other things, the Digital Services Act requires online platforms to take more responsibility for their products and services, including removing unscrupulous sellers and quickly removing illegal content, such as hate speech. Companies that break the rules could be fined up to 6% of their annual global revenues.