Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,476
16,533


Big tech companies, including Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook, could soon face new wide-reaching regulations in the European Union, under new legislation presented today by the European Commission (via CNBC).

european-parliament.jpg


Amid concern for smaller European companies looking to compete in the European market, the European Commission today presented two new pieces of legislation that aim to strictly regulate how big tech companies operate in the EU.

The Digital Markets Act, which has been planned for some time, includes the prohibition of self-preferencing. This means that App Store search results, for example, cannot preference apps made by Apple itself over third-party apps. Moreover, companies will be obliged to allow users to uninstall all pre-installed apps. Performance metrics will also have to be shared for free with advertisers and publishers.

Apple has already gone some way to meeting the rules set out in the Digital Markets Act. For example, as of iOS 10, Apple has allowed users to uninstall default apps. Likewise, last year, Apple adjusted its App Store search algorithm so that fewer of its own apps appear at the top of search results. Nevertheless, Apple will be equally obligated to meet the demands of the legislation, including sharing its internal metrics, if and when it comes into law.

Failure to comply with the rules may result in hefty fines, as high as ten percent of the company's worldwide annual turnover. It is hoped that the regulation will result in long-term, meaningful changes, rather than just repeatedly fining rule breaches.

Another measure to punish big tech companies is forced disinvestment. Systematic rule breaches could result in the demand that companies sell parts of their business "if no other remedy is available."

On the other hand, the Digital Services Act is designed to tackle illegal and harmful content by obliging platforms to rapidly remove it. Large fines also follow breaches in this area. The EU's competition chief, Margrethe Vestager, said that the two proposals would serve a dual purpose:

To make sure that we, as users, have access to a wide choice of safe products and services online. And that businesses operating in Europe can freely and fairly compete online just as they do offline.

Although the two pieces of legislation must be approved by European governments, there are reportedly indications that they could come into force faster than usual. Other governments around the world have also announced tougher regulations on big tech, such as the UK government, which has also announced a fine of ten percent of global turnover unless platforms fail to remove illegal content quickly.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: EU Introduces Strict Rules on Big Tech Companies to Promote Competition and Protect Users
 

applicious84

macrumors 6502
Sep 1, 2020
294
618
This was done to Microsoft in the past for its monopolistic practices. While this isn't quite the same, companies of values around or more than $1 trillion dollars dominate the markets. It's not exactly revolutionary--it's the EU, after all--but it's a move forward under capitalism.
 

ruka.snow

macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2017
1,522
4,067
Scotland
Great to see this regulation has some teeth behind it. GDPR while being a pain in the butt to get right as a business sometimes, has, on a whole been fantastic in cutting down the amount of data companies hold. Everything from having your data removed from some online shop you bought from 10 years ago, to forcing political parties remove your details from their database so they can stop sending bloody letters campaigning for or against irrelevant issues.
 

macdos

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2017
529
877
Permitting to uninstall TV, Stocks, Health, Home and other specialized apps for a niche target is not enough, they should not be installed in the first place. They should be like any other app, and have a presence at the app store.

Bundling is bloat.
 

R3k

macrumors 65816
Sep 7, 2011
1,071
992
Sep 7, 2011
Permitting to uninstall TV, Stocks, Health, Home and other specialized apps for a niche target is not enough, they should not be installed in the first place. They should be like any other app, and have a presence at the app store.

Bundling is bloat.
Many people won't even realize the apps exist if they're not bundled with the. Im glad I know about the health app, I wouldn't have gone looking for it on the App Store.

I think fair enough for Apple to say "You bought our hardware, here are our apps that go with it. This is the user experience we want you to have access too"
 

Rojaaemon

macrumors 6502
Aug 27, 2016
293
448
Permitting to uninstall TV, Stocks, Health, Home and other specialized apps for a niche target is not enough, they should not be installed in the first place. They should be like any other app, and have a presence at the app store.

Bundling is bloat.
OK, if you don’t mind having to help your parents install some basic apps on their new smartphone.
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors G3
May 30, 2002
9,817
4,145
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
This was done to Microsoft in the past for its monopolistic practices. While this isn't quite the same, companies of values around or more than $1 trillion dollars dominate the markets. It's not exactly revolutionary--it's the EU, after all--but it's a move forward under capitalism.
This has nothing to do with protecting consumers or the market ... just allows jobs for repairs to stay within UK or European Union.
 

NMBob

macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2007
1,514
1,629
New Mexico
OK, if you don’t mind having to help your parents install some basic apps on their new smartphone.
Or help them get out of something that they accidentally tapped on that they didn't need or install. There's too much useless crap on the phones/pads, web pages, the screens within apps, everything. Everything is just becoming a cluttered mess. Except MR. The forums are pretty lean and clean.
 

SWAON

macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2017
382
534
Europe
Living in EU, I can say the topic is not as simple as they try to make it with few regulations.

The first things is the taxing. How come people pay 20% on average taxes on iPhones distributed from Ireland, when Ireland Apple keep low profile on taxes to make more profit. What EU have done about that? Why we the people need to pay for someone's greedy *ss.

Second thing is if EU wants fair competition, they need to bring A-Game tech companies to compete with the mentioned ones from US or Asia. People have no much options, that's why someone will eat most of the cake. EU is only concern how to charge people with taxes just to maintain their superficial lifestyle.. Where are all those billions of euros to make the EU tech companies not that small to compete with Apple and Google. Those never played fair, they use all the ridiculous profit they made for the last 10 years to dominate..

Facebook got all its billions after using and selling our personal data to many companies, including EU's, so i see double standards here. EU wants to profit and at the same time put on a show that it's doing some regulations, just to keep the people believing they're doing something.
 

rizzo41999

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2009
399
1,065
MA
Living in EU, I can say the topic is not as simple as they try to make it with few regulations.

The first things is the taxing. How come people pay 20% on average taxes on iPhones distributed from Ireland, when Ireland Apple keep low profile on taxes to make more profit. What EU have done about that? Why we the people need to pay for someone's greedy *ss.

Second thing is if EU wants fair competition, they need to bring A-Game tech companies to compete with the mentioned ones from US or Asia. People have no much options, that's why someone will eat most of the cake. EU is only concern how to charge people with taxes just to maintain their superficial lifestyle.. Where are all those billions of euros to make the EU tech companies not that small to compete with Apple and Google. Those never played fair, they use all the ridiculous profit they made for the last 10 years to dominate..

Facebook got all its billions after using and selling our personal data to many companies, including EU's, so i see double standards here. EU wants to profit and at the same time put on a show that it's doing some regulations, just to keep the people believing they're doing something.
You absolutely nailed it! Having family in Europe and having visited there quite often for that reason - their corner cafes were more important to them these past 20 years than truly investing in science and lowering entry barriers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SWAON and jz0309

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
4,056
11,457
Temecula, CA
so Europe has been slow in adopting technology, leave alone DEVELOPING new technology over the past 30 years ... to set some context, I'm originally from Germany but living in the US for 25+ years so I have family and friends and I frequently visit - they are still complaining about slow internet, they still think that children don't need computers (or access to), and handy (smartphones) are not necessary ... and the government has been promising infrastructure (eg fiber) for 20+ years and I just a week ago read an article in a German newspaper that fiber penetration is < 5% and they were questioning what has happened the past 20 years ...

Right, don't look at yourself in the mirror, create regulations that "protect" you from the bad Americans ... always the same, bureaucracy wins ///
 

SWAON

macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2017
382
534
Europe
You absolutely nailed it! Having family in Europe and having visited there quite often for that reason - their corner cafes were more important to them these past 20 years than truly investing in science and lowering entry barriers.
If you don't invest money to produce something, you'll depend to get it from somewhere else. That makes you very vulnerable and dependent. You negotiate a price that will cover your needs, but there won't be any profit, so the circle is going.. Even if there is some profit but you're dumb and don't know where and how to invest them to get out of this circle, the money is not the problem here. I think the way money are managed is the problem. I'm sure EU have enough money to start from somewhere, but when you invest you need to cut from other things and prioritize. At the moment EU government is dumb, not progressive and sluggish. EU has no real long term goals like a union beside to get by day by day, saving on everything.

so Europe has been slow in adopting technology, leave alone DEVELOPING new technology over the past 30 years ... to set some context, I'm originally from Germany but living in the US for 25+ years so I have family and friends and I frequently visit - they are still complaining about slow internet, they still think that children don't need computers (or access to), and handy (smartphones) are not necessary ... and the government has been promising infrastructure (eg fiber) for 20+ years and I just a week ago read an article in a German newspaper that fiber penetration is < 5% and they were questioning what has happened the past 20 years ...

Right, don't look at yourself in the mirror, create regulations that "protect" you from the bad Americans ... always the same, bureaucracy wins ///

EU is very undeveloped in comparison to Asia or USA, no matter what they elite will tell you on the news.. we're becoming slowly the 3d world. Thank God we still have our nature and history to somehow maintain the high EU libido.
 

macdos

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2017
529
877
EU is very undeveloped in comparison to Asia or USA, no matter what they elite will tell you on the news.. we're becoming slowly the 3d world. Thank God we still have our nature and history to somehow maintain the high EU libido.
Dunno about nature, but we are in fact a living museum. And the conscience of the world. A regulatory dystopia concerned with the wrongdoings of everyone else than ourselves.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SWAON and jz0309

entropys

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2007
868
1,450
Brisbane, Australia
What is appalling about this legislation from a regulatory design sense is that the company in question has to regularly prove they are without sin, by having to regularly report to the euroweenies. There is no presumption of innocence here.

This is yet another barrier of entry for the new, upstart little company dressed up as the very opposite. A big company is able to absorb the additional regulatory burden of reporting more easily than a smaller company. Just yet another layer of regulation that favours big corporatism.

If such legislation is judged necessary, it should be the job of the regulator to monitor for compliance to find the sinner, but that would require the euroweenies to get off their fat wine and cheese arses and get out to do real work. Investigate stuff.

And don’t get me started on this bit:
Performance metrics will also have to be shared for free with advertisers and publishers.
if there is one thing Big Government really, really hates, it’s the story of the little red hen.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hot-gril
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.