EU to regulate business practice of tech giants

Tech giants such as Apple, Amazon and Google will have to face laws limiting their commercial power over their relations with smaller businesses, as mentioned in a law proposed by the EU on Thursday.

The new rules look to regulate app stores, search engines and e-commerce sites, requiring more transparency about how each of them rank search results and why they delist certain services. This proposal also gives companies the right to collectively sue platforms for not respecting these rules.

Spotify and other music streaming services have previously pushed for Brussels to address platform and business relations, claiming platforms are constantly encouraged to disadvantage competitors’ services.

Apple’s entry into the music streaming world has made all other streaming services concern, as they claim the 30% cut Apple takes from its App Store subscriptions gives Apple Music a leg up while other companies are left suffering.

The European Parliament and member states will have to accept this proposal before becoming law, while online platforms will have to appoint mediators to meet customer and lawmakers’ complaints.

Platforms will also have to compare and contrast their terms and conditions with those of other businesses, showing how their approaches to data acquiring differs compared to their competitors.

“Platforms and search engines are important channels for European businesses to reach consumers but we must make sure they are not abusing their power, and thus bring harm their business users,” said Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for the Digital Economy.

“We are taking a very important step with clear rules on transparency, efficient dispute settlement and the launch of an observatory to analyze online platforms’ practices in greater detail.”