EU finalizing rules to force big tech companies to share customer data

The logo of US online retail giant Amazon at the distribution center in Moenchengladbach, western Germany. (AFP)

The European Union (EU) is preparing to force big technology companies to share their customer data with smaller rivals, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing an early draft of its landmark ‘Digital Services Act’ regulations.

“The likes of Amazon and Google shall not use data collected on the platform . . . for (their) own commercial activities . . . unless they (make it) accessible to business users active in the same commercial activities,” the FT reported, quoting the draft.

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When asked for comment by Reuters, Google pointed to a blog from earlier this month where it first detailed its response to the Act, supporting measures that allow users to move between platforms without losing access to their data.

“The question is not whether data mobility or data access should be facilitated, but how to achieve their benefits without sacrificing product quality or innovation incentives,” Google had said in the blog.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager would announce by the end of this year tough new rules under the Act, aimed to increase social media companies’ responsibilities and liability for content on their platforms.

Read more: EU antitrust regulators say they are investigating Google’s data collection

The draft suggests that technology giants may be banned from preferential treatment of their own services on their sites or platforms, to the detriment of rivals, according to the report.

Companies should not be allowed to pre-install their own applications on hardware devices, such as laptops or phones, or force other companies to exclusively pre-install their software, it added.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that China is preparing to launch an antitrust probe into Google.

In the United States, a government panel is expected to release a report into antitrust allegations against big tech companies as soon as Monday.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 30 September 2020 KSA 22:29 - GMT 19:29
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