EU agrees to adopt laws limiting power of Google, Meta and others

By our News Team | 2022

Two new pieces of legislation will affect how marketers in the European Union can reach target groups of consumers.

The European Parliament has agreed to two new laws to regulate technology giants such as Apple, Google and Meta that have been deemed to be too dominant in digital media and e-commerce. 

This tightening of rules will apply to a region of approximately 450-million reasonably affluent consumers with notable spending power.

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) aims to curb anti-competitive behaviour of what it calls “gatekeeper platforms” and sets rules on digital advertising, app stores and online messaging. The DMA is expected to come into force later this year and companies will have until the middle of 2023 to comply.


Photo by Mikhail Nilov via Pexels

Also coming into effect is the Digital Services Act (DSA), which makes tech platforms liable for illegal content such as hate speech, disinformation and the promotion of unsafe products. It also provides a mechanism for EU citizens to formally complain about content moderation. It is unclear when this legislation will come into full effect.

Strong regulation of online platforms

“The European Parliament has adopted a global first: Strong, ambitious regulation of online platforms,” said Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age.

“The Digital Markets Act creates fair, open online markets. As an example, illegal hate speech can also be dealt with online. And products bought online must be safe. Big platforms will have to refrain from promoting their own interests, share their data with other businesses, enable more app stores. Because with size comes responsibility – as a big platform, there are things you must do and things you cannot do.”

According to the Marketing Dive industry website, depending on how the EU enforces its new laws on big tech companies, the effect on marketers will vary.

“The DMA requires companies to obtain explicit consent from consumers to use their personal data for targeted advertising. It also gives people more power to select different web browsers, virtual assistants and search engines, which may affect how marketers reach target groups of consumers who lessen their usage of the most dominant platforms,” the website says.

“App developers conceivably will have more ways to collect payments from mobile users and greater latitude in their fee structures – such as the ability to offer discounts outside of app stores.”