A handful of tech companies have become global gatekeepers to the modern world. Companies including Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft set the terms of communication for billions of internet users and have a sphere of influence that is rapidly expanding to encompass social and government institutions, other businesses, consumers, and citizens. There is an urgent need to disentangle the benefits of the services they provide from the risks of their dominance over public and private life.
In the short term, reigning in Big Tech requires measures such as greater limits and more control on mergers and acquisitions and stronger protections for workers and smaller companies that become dependent on the platforms. The European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) is an important stepping stone along this path. SOMO supports the proposed DMA, which it sees as a timely opportunity to create the necessary conditions to address the unhealthy market dominance of a relatively small number of companies in the European digital sector and to put an end to abusive business practices perpetrated by digital giants. This position paper aims to contribute to the trilogue debate within the European Union by outlining a few key priorities for the creation of a digital level-playing field between all economic actors.
This paper was updated on 10 February 2022, reflecting developments in the legislative process.