The European Union late Thursday secured agreement on the detail of a major competition reform that will see the most powerful, intermediating tech platforms subject to a set of up-front rules on how they can and cannot operate — with the threat of fines of up to 10% of global annual turnover should they breach requirements (or even 20% for repeat violations).
In three-way discussions between the European Council, Parliament and Commission, which ran for around eight hours today, it was finally agreed that the Digital Markets Act (DMA) will apply to large companies providing "core platform services" — such as social networks or search engines — that have a market capitalization of at least €75 billion or an annual turnover of €7.5 billion.
To be designated a so-called "gatekeepers," and thus fall in scope of the DMA, companies must also have at least 45 million monthly end users in the EU and more than 10,000 annual business users.
This puts U.S. tech giants — including Apple, Google and Meta (Facebook) — clearly in scope. While some less gigantic but still large homegrown European tech platforms, such as the music streaming platform Spotify, look set to avoid being subject to the regime as it stands. (Although other European platforms may already have — or gain — the scale to fall in scope.)
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