EU Hints at Introduction of Metaverse Regulations and Taxes

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen signaled the bloc is preparing the implement a regulatory framework for the metaverse, writing in her annual Letter of Intent for the State of the Union address that the Commission will in 2023 advance an “initiative on virtual worlds, such as metaverse.” The EU’s internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton, expanded on that in a blog post that Europe’s “way to foster the virtual worlds” will be threefold, focusing on “people, technologies and infrastructure,” with speculation bubbling that the third prong will involve some sort of carrier tax. Continue reading EU Hints at Introduction of Metaverse Regulations and Taxes

Oracle, Microsoft Partner on Multi-Cloud Database Services

Thousands of customers have built data platforms using a combination of Microsoft and Oracle technology over the years. Now, the duo is deepening the relationship with the rollout of Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure. The new offering lets Microsoft Azure customers access and monitor enterprise-grade Oracle Database services in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) with a friendly user interface. Those creating new Azure installations or working within existing configurations can migrate or connect to high-performance Oracle Database services such as Autonomous Database running on OCI. Continue reading Oracle, Microsoft Partner on Multi-Cloud Database Services

European Union Digital Markets Act Creates Cloud Concerns

Antitrust scrutiny under the European Union’s new Digital Markets Act is causing concern among U.S.-based cloud services providers. Cost-savings for clients who bundle services are not unusual in the cloud sector, and while some clients prefer using multiple cloud vendors, others want to take advantage of discounts. As enterprise continues to shift operations to the cloud, packages from Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Cloud find themselves subject to criticism in what some say is nothing less than a regulatory assault on vertical integration. Continue reading European Union Digital Markets Act Creates Cloud Concerns

Under Antitrust Scrutiny, Google Could Spinoff Its Adtech Biz

Battling new antitrust action by the U.S. Department of Justice, Google is offering to separate part of its adtech business into a discrete unit. The new Alphabet company would focus on app dissemination and programmatic auctions for advertising space and could potentially be worth billions of dollars. It is not known whether the move would satisfy the DOJ, which is reportedly prepping a fresh antitrust suit in the wake of a 2020 action. Google is also the target of antitrust investigations by state attorneys general and under EU and UK inquiries for anticompetitive measures. Continue reading Under Antitrust Scrutiny, Google Could Spinoff Its Adtech Biz

EU Checks Power of Big Tech with Digital Services Regulation

The European Parliament has adopted two digital acts, one focused on leveling the competitive playing field, the other on protecting consumer rights online. The Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act are both expected to take effect this fall, after the European Commission signs off. “We are finally building a single digital market, the most important one in the ‘free world,’” EU commissioner for the internal market Thierry Breton said Tuesday. “The same predictable rules will apply, everywhere in the EU, for our 450 million citizens, bringing everyone a safer and fairer digital space.” Continue reading EU Checks Power of Big Tech with Digital Services Regulation

EU Advances Digital Services Act to Hold Tech Accountable

The European Parliament and EU member states reached agreement Saturday on the proposed Digital Services Act, which aims to hold Big Tech accountable for “illegal and harmful content” and “provide better protection for Internet users and their fundamental rights, as well as define a single set of rules in the internal market.” Calling the DSA “historic, both in terms of speed and of substance,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen added, “the greater the size, the greater the responsibilities of online platforms.” Companies like Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and others will be forced to hold the line against dangerous content and misinformation or face stiff fines. Continue reading EU Advances Digital Services Act to Hold Tech Accountable

Proposed Antitrust Laws a Privacy Disaster Warns Tim Cook

Antitrust legislation pending in the U.S. and European Union is at odds with consumer privacy initiatives in those territories, Apple CEO Tim Cook told attendees of the IAPP Global Privacy Summit 2022 in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. Speaking out against proposed “gatekeeper” rules, Cook warned that “when companies decide to leave the App Store because they want to exploit user data, it could put significant pressure on people to engage with alternate app stores — app stores where their privacy and security may not be protected.” Continue reading Proposed Antitrust Laws a Privacy Disaster Warns Tim Cook

Europe’s Digital Markets Act Designed to Regulate Big Tech

The European Parliament and EU member states reached agreement Thursday on key points of the Digital Markets Act, a sweeping measure poised to reshape the technology landscape in Europe and potentially around the world. The DMA objectives are two-fold: reining in anticompetitive measures that advantage Big Tech over competitors and consumers, and putting teeth to the new rules. Considered the biggest digital regulatory expansion anywhere in decades, the proposal has been criticized for singling out U.S. firms like Amazon, Apple, Meta and Alphabet, all of which fall into the gatekeeper category targeted by the act. Continue reading Europe’s Digital Markets Act Designed to Regulate Big Tech

Twitter Rallies Midsize Tech Around the Open Internet Alliance

Twitter has used its Spaces platform to opine on rapidly developing EU digital regulations, an effort that after two years has become formalized as a policy advocacy group known as the Open Internet Alliance. Vimeo, Automattic, Czech search engine firm Seznam and German social network Jodel have joined Twitter as founding members. The company’s mission statement is twofold: protecting competition to “avoid entrenching the dominance of the biggest players,” and focusing more on “how content is discovered and amplified.” The group aims “to strengthen the advocacy voice of medium-sized companies that promote the Open Internet.” Continue reading Twitter Rallies Midsize Tech Around the Open Internet Alliance

EU Digital Markets Act Poised to Compel Apple ‘Sideloading’

The EU is preparing to finalize its Digital Markets Act (DMA) designed to neutralize Big Tech’s gatekeeper status by leveling the playing field with smaller competitors. The DMA, which could be completed by month’s end, has ramifications for Amazon, Google and parent Alphabet, and especially for Apple, which faces what some describe as an existential threat through provisions that would allow software to be downloaded outside the App Store and third-party payment systems inserted on apps, known as “sideloading.” Failure to comply could carry fines and penalties totaling tens of billions of dollars. Continue reading EU Digital Markets Act Poised to Compel Apple ‘Sideloading’

European Union Supports New Restrictions on Targeted Ads

In what could be bad news for companies such as Facebook and Google, the European Parliament has voted to toughen limits on the use of consumer data for advertising. The Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted overwhelmingly under the Digital Markets Act (DMA) to support stricter consent requirements for how personal information is used to serve ads, expanding the draft legislation to include a ban on the commercial use of the personal data of minors. The proposed law blacklists some practices of Big Tech platforms and empowers the EU Commission to undertake investigations, adding sanctions for non-compliant behavior. Continue reading European Union Supports New Restrictions on Targeted Ads

Europe Echoes Australia’s Call for Big Tech to Pay Publishers

As the Australian law requiring Google and Facebook to pay publishers for content nears passage, news publishers in the European Union are urging legislators to copy that law. The European Publishers Council supports the Digital Markets Act (DMA) to be included in legislation, forcing binding arbitration if the two parties can’t agree on payments. In the U.S., Congress members intend to introduce legislation to make it easier for smaller news organizations to negotiate with Facebook, Google and other Big Tech platforms. Continue reading Europe Echoes Australia’s Call for Big Tech to Pay Publishers

Top EU Privacy Regulator Calls for Total Ban on Targeted Ads

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Wojciech Wiewiórowski, the European Union’s top privacy regulator, called for a complete ban on targeted advertising. That’s a harsher recommendation than that of the European Commission, which simply suggested increased transparency on political ads and limits to micro-targeting and psychological profiling. Wiewiorówski’s proposal was in response to a request for EU lawmaker consultation on the Commission’s Digital Services Act (DSA) introduced in December. Continue reading Top EU Privacy Regulator Calls for Total Ban on Targeted Ads

EU Proposes Two New Laws in Its Effort to Regulate Big Tech

The European Union’s executive branch issued drafts of two bills that would hike fines for illegal content and anticompetitive behavior up to 6 percent or 10 percent of annual worldwide revenue and even break up Big Tech firms to stop “competitive abuses.” Although the bills don’t mention any firms by name, they could be applied to Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. The UK, which is no longer part of the EU, has similar legislation in the works that would fine abusers up to 10 percent of annual global revenue. Continue reading EU Proposes Two New Laws in Its Effort to Regulate Big Tech

European Union Plans to Announce Regulations for Big Tech

On December 2, European Commission EVP and commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager and European commissioner for internal market Thierry Breton plan to announce the new rules governing powerful online companies. Among the draft rules of the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act, Big Tech companies will have to share data with rivals and regulators. Alphabet chief executive Sundar Pichai also apologized to Breton over a leaked document revealing his company’s proposed tactics against the European Union’s new, tougher rules. Continue reading European Union Plans to Announce Regulations for Big Tech