US tech giants face tough new rules as EU countries, lawmakers clinch deal

[BRUSSELS] Alphabet's Google, Amazon, Apple, Meta and Microsoft may have to change their core business practices in Europe as EU countries and EU lawmakers on Thursday (Mar 24) clinched a deal on landmark rules to curb their powers.

France, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said in a tweet that there was a provisional agreement after 8 hours of talks. EU industry chief Thierry Breton also confirmed the news in a tweet.

Proposed by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager just over a year ago in response to the slow pace of competition investigations, the Digital Markets Act (DMA) sets out rules for companies that control data and platform access.

Under the DMA, the tech giants will have to make their messaging services interoperable and provide business users access to their data. Business users would be able to promote competing products and services on a platform and reach deals with customers off the platforms.

The rules prohibit the companies from favouring their own services over rivals' or preventing users from removing pre-installed software or apps.

The DMA will apply to companies with a market capitalisation of 75 billion euros (S$112.1 billion), 7.5 billion euros in annual turnover and at least 45 million monthly users.

Companies face hefty fines up to 10 per cent of their annual global turnover for breaching the rules and as much as 20 per cent for repeat offences. REUTERS

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