BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Draft rules aimed at uniting Alphabet Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple should be stepped up to allow regulators to control their acquisitions of rival start-ups, Germany, France and Germany said on Thursday. the Netherlands.
The joint statement by German Minister of Economy Peter Altmaier, his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire, little French Minister Cedric O and Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Mona Keijzer came as EU countries and lawmakers are preparing to debate the rules proposed by the European Commission.
The tech giants have been criticized by some for so-called murderous acquisitions where they buy up nascent rivals in a bid to shut them down.
Regulators should use the Digital Markets Bill (DMA) to address this issue, ministers said.
“First, set clear and legally certain thresholds for acquisitions by target custodians with relatively low revenue, but high value,” they said.
“Second, adapt the substantive test to effectively deal with cases of potentially predatory acquisitions. “
They said the proposed rules should leave room for EU countries to tackle so-called online gatekeepers and anti-competitive behavior.
The draft rules could enter into force next year once the Commission, EU countries and EU lawmakers work out a common position.
France also wants the European Union to toughen the rules on illegal content by forcing technology companies to systematically hand over illegal content that they have removed or blocked from their sites to the authorities.
France has proposed that online hosting services be required to store illegal content for at least six months and hand it over to law enforcement authorities in the country concerned, according to draft amendments seen by Reuters.
The move would strengthen the supervisory powers of individual member states, although it could raise hackers if there are concerns about too many regulators scrambling across the EU.