The Digital Markets Act is the European Union’s most far-reaching piece of legislation since it passed its strict privacy laws in 2018. The law tackles the power of the leading tech companies and redefines the way app stores, digital marketing, online retail, and messaging platforms operate.
The legislation is designed to stop the biggest tech tools from using their correlated services and substantial resources to entrap users and defeat developing competitors. Practically speaking, big companies like Google will not be allowed to garner data from various services and then offer targeted ads without explicit users’ consent. Apple will have to accept alternatives besides its own App Store on its devices.
Europe is quickly emerging as an assertive controller of tech companies. If previous patterns are to be the guide, similar policies can be expected in other countries around the world. It also means that big tech is entering a new age of supervision, similar to those in health, banking, and transportation. When the law takes effect, it will come with hefty fines for violators: up to 20 percent of a company’s global revenue.