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Google’s legal loss is positive for historic EU technical regulations

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News Tech: Google`s court defeat on Wednesday is set to strengthen EU antitrust regulators` hand against Big Tech as they roll out landmark rules next year to rein in their powers and force them to play fair with rivals. Critics and rivals of Alphabet unit Google, Amazon, Apple, and Meta fear the deep-pocketed tech giants may challenge the new rules known as the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in court, tying up regulators and jamming the process.

Smaller competitors will be allowed to inter-operate with the dominant company`s own services and promote their offers and conclude contracts with their customers outside the gatekeeper`s platform. Under the rules, Gatekeeper is prohibited from using the data of competing business users, unfairly promoting services or products over competitors, or requiring app developers to use payment systems. It is ruling strengthens the powers of the Commission.

The DMA sets out a list of dos and don`ts for gatekeepers, companies that control data and access to their platforms, targeting U.S. tech giants` core businesses and practices which regulators say are aimed at reinforcing their dominance. To make it easy for users to switch to rivals, the companies will have to allow users to remove pre-installed apps, change default settings, install third-party apps and app stores and unsubscribe from core platform services.

The European Commission confirms that antitrust litigation can be used as a backstop threat to enforce expedited compliance with digital regulations, also known as DMA said Professor Nicholas Petit of the European University Institute. Hausfeld law firm partner Thomas Hoppner said two approaches would help regulators. “Without effective antitrust enforcement and targeted legislation, Google’s core platform will remain unattended and will be a major source of distortion in the online competitive process. This is just the beginning, but it’s a very important first step.”

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