Brussels indicates 19 digital platforms that will have commitments regarding their market dominance | technology

The logos of the main social networks that will have additional commitments from the Committee on their content.
The logos of the main social networks that will have additional commitments from the Committee on their content.Denis Charlet (AFP)

The European Commission has already determined which digital platforms will have to take on transparency obligations, increase protection for minors or be more careful about disinformation. There are 19 companies among which there is an overwhelming dominance of the American giants in the digital sector, compared to two European companies (Booking and Zalando) and two Chinese companies (Alibaba Aliexpress and TikTok), as published by the Community Executive on Tuesday. In order to be included on this list, a basic criterion must be met: you must have at least 45 million monthly active users. The known list can grow since this is the first batch, as the statement itself explains.

A regulation on digital services approved in the European Union last year established a number establishment among tech giants, the so-called Gatekeepers, for which a series of commitments will be created for a large online presence. According to the committee’s own definition, this is done through three elements: having a “strong market position, significant influence in the single market, and activity in multiple countries”; It has a “strong role in mediation, and connects a large number of users with many companies”; Finally, he has played this role continuously and stably, which is interpreted as the performance of the two previous conditions for at least three years.

In the list of 19 search engines and platforms, it is easy to see the overwhelming dominance of the American giants in this sector. In fact, the big groups in Silicon Valley have more than one platform/search engines. For example, Alphabet has Google Play, Google Maps, Google Shopping, YouTube, and its own search engine; Microsoft will have LinkedIn or Bing; and Meta to Facebook and Instagram. Other listed US players are Amazon MarketPlace, Apple Appstore Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter and Wikipedia.

From now on, the companies referred to have four months to adapt to the requirements of the European standard for these companies and submit the first annual risk assessment report to the committee. Within 4 months of notification of designation decisions, designated search engines and platforms will need to adapt their systems, resources and processes for regulatory compliance. In this document, they will have to state the risks they find in the services they provide: misleading information, impacting freedom of expression or media freedom, or impacting violence against women. In addition, they must expose their plans to mitigate all these risks, something that, as the Commission explains, will be subject to independent review and oversight by Brussels, which recently created the European Center for Logarithmic Transparency.

An example of how digital services are organized and defined Gatekeepers The impact it could have on these companies was seen a few months ago when Twitter suspended the accounts of several American journalists who write regularly about Elon Musk. Then the vice-chairman of the commission, Vera Zhorova, hastened to threaten the social network: “There are red lines. And sanctions are coming soon. He was referring to the list that has been approved and is still ongoing, and among its steps is the nomination of these companies that have special obligations. These penalties, included in the regulations, amount to 6% of the company’s annual turnover. However, before reaching the maximum penalty, there are others, because the logic that is imposed in the EU sanctions, also in these cases, is that they are effective, proportionate and deterrent, as they usually interpret the speakers and statements of the community.

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