EU Set to Take on Big Tech with New Digital Services Act

With this brand new set of regulations governing the EU's digital market, the Commission intends to clarify and introduce new digital services liability rules and ensure a more competitive digital market where even small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) can compete with the more established players.

Policymakers in the EU, which is already home to the world's strictest data privacy laws, believe that Europe is in a unique position to set new standards for the regulation of digital services for the whole world. The forthcoming rules represent an unprecedented strike against the seemingly limitless power of big tech, which are likely to oppose the reforms.

A close-up image shows the slogan of the 'StopHateForProfit' campaign on the organization's website displayed on a smartphone screen in Cologne, Germany, 29 June 2020. EPA-EFE/SASCHA STEINBACH What new rules are coming?  

Although the final contours of the legislative package are not yet public knowledge, it is expected that the regulation will come in two legislative proposals. The first set of proposals contained in the Digital Services Act will likely focus on updating digital services providers' responsibilities and liabilities. The Digital Markets Act will then likely be concerned with limiting the power of big platforms in general.

In a recent speech, Executive Vice-President of the Commission Margrethe Vestager said that digital media platforms need to be more transparent about the way they share the digital world that we see.

"They'll have to report on what they've done to take down illegal material. They'll have to tell us how they decide what information and products to recommend to us, and which ones to hide - and give us the ability to influence...

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