EU Countries Agree on Common Approach to U.S. Tech Giants

EU member states agreed on a common approach for rules to be imposed on U.S. tech firms on Thursday. Reuters reported on the move, which could prove to be very significant.

The DMA has a list of dos and don’ts for online gatekeepers – companies that control data and access to their platforms – reinforced by fines of up to 10% of global turnover. The Digital Services Act (DSA) forces the tech giants to do more to tackle illegal content on their platforms, with fines of up to 6% of global turnover for non-compliance. The common position adopted by EU countries follows the main points proposed by Vestager, with some tweaks, with the European Commission as the main enforcer of the new rules despite an initial French proposal to give national watchdogs more power. Negotiations are expected to start next year, with the rules likely to be adopted in 2023.

Judges Used "Contradictory Reasoning" in Apple Tax Case, Says EU

The EU believes that judges used “contradictory reasoning” when granting Apple’s victory in a landmark tax case. The bloc’s determination to overturn the ruling was revealed in documents that emerged Monday, reported Bloomberg News.

The EU said that the lower court improperly conflated Apple’s lack of employees at two Irish units and the company’s level of responsibility for intellectual property on iPhone and iPad sales across Europe. Judges failed to properly weigh the EU’s analysis of the Irish branches and showed “contradictory reasoning” in a separate part of their findings. The EU court “categorically annulled the commission’s case in July and the facts have not changed since then,” Apple said in a statement. “After a thorough review of the facts and the commission’s claims,” the judges were “clear in their determination that Apple has always abided by the law in Ireland, as we do everywhere we operate.” At the heart of the legal arguments are simple questions on where value is created and where it should be taxed.

EU Lays Out New Search Ranking Guidelines For Google And Other Tech Firms

Google, Microsoft, and other tech firms will have to provide more transparency about how they rank online search results. Reuters reported on new EU guidelines forcing the change that were released on Monday.

The guidelines, which take immediate effect, will be followed up next week by the publication of draft rules that could eventually impose further restrictions on the tech sector… The Commission said the guidelines require online platforms to identify the algorithmic parameters that determine ranking and to share them with companies. “These guidelines set the standard for algorithmic ranking transparency and will increase fairness in the online platform economy, which drives innovation and welfare for millions of Europeans,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Apple Invited to Showdown EU Talks

Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook are among the tech companies invited to partake in video talks with the EU next week, Reuters reported. It is to discuss draft rules set to be imposed on them that will be presented by Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton to Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on December 9.

The video conference on Nov. 24 will discuss the proposed rules, which are known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA). Some companies do not think the discussion will lead to changes at this late stage, people close to the companies said on condition of anonymity. The DSA will require tech companies to explain how their algorithms work and also open up their ad archives to regulators and researchers. The DMA targets online gatekeepers with a list of dos, such as sharing data with rivals and regulators, and don’ts, such as not favouring their own services. Breton has invited chief executives from about 20 companies, which also include Microsoft,, Expedia, Trivago, DuckDuckGo, a person familiar with the matter said. It was unclear whether CEOs would take part or send senior executives.