EU plans new laws to fight unfair competition among tech companies and haters on social media
Lawsuits related to unfair competition and dishonest commercial practices are not new in the world of technology business. They are not new to the European Union either, where the European Commission is committed to ensuring that all market participants respect the principle of equality. And the European executive body is developing a new plan aiming to provide a better environment for fair competition among the technology companies from both sides of the Atlantic.
In a mid-term review of its digital strategy presented on Wednesday, the European Commission said it is working on new a legal initiative. The legislation’s goal is to deal effectively with unfair contractual clauses and commercial practices in the relationship between the major technology platforms and the companies that use them.
As Reuters points out, this new initiative comes after a number of complaints coming from European companies like Spotify, Rocket Internet and Deezer. According to them, the online platforms of the US tech giants like Google, Apple and Facebook intentionally promote with priority their own products and services, or impose imbalanced terms and conditions in the contracts. And, according to the Commission, the initial findings of an investigation launched last year show that, in general, these complaints are not unfounded. That’s why the EU’s executive institution wants to establish clearer guidelines defining what is and what isn't fair business practice.
Another issue that the European Commission wants to tackle more seriously is hate speech on social media. The institution is intending to do that by coordinating more effectively on its existing initiatives and by providing guidance on dealing with illegal content. An interesting example in this area is the Commission’s guidance on a so called "good Samaritan" principle. According to this principle, social media companies will not be held accountable for illegal content posted on their websites if they actively pursue it.