15 December 2018

EU lawmakers agree on tough line against tech companies

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EU lawmakers agreed on Thursday to take a tougher stance against tech giants such as Google, Amazon and Apple in new legislation aimed at curbing unfair business practices.

A European Parliament committee voted in favor of beefing up draft legislation to force online giants to set up Chinese walls between subsidiaries and to get merchants’ consent before using their data.

The legislation should also give more powers to national authorities to go after rule breakers and include a blacklist of trading practices that are deemed to be unfair, lawmakers said.

The committee now has to reconcile its tougher stance with more moderate proposals put forward by the European Commission, which drew up the draft rules in April and has the backing of EU governments.

The legislation aims to prevent unfair business practices by app stores, search engines, e-commerce sites and hotel booking websites in a bid to ensure a level playing field between the tech companies and traditional businesses.

“We have managed to introduce key improvements to the Commission’s proposal that prohibit unfair practices, remove loopholes and safeguard fairness in the relationships between business users and online platforms. Unfair platform-to-business trading practices have no place in Europe,” Danish center-left lawmaker Christel Schaldemose, the lead parliament negotiator, said.

Schaldemose was behind the proposal to introduce Chinese walls, which targets online marketplaces such as Amazon.

2018.12.06 / 16:59
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