From “Tech Giants Face New Rules in Europe, Backed by Huge Fines” ($) in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal:
The European Union’s executive arm proposed two bills Tuesday—one focused on illegal content, the other on anticompetitive behavior—that would empower regulators in some cases to levy fines of up to 6% or 10% of annual world-wide revenue, or break up big tech companies to stop certain competitive abuses…
Together, the two strands of legislation amount to the biggest potential expansion of global tech regulation in years…
[Skipping section on the Digital Services Act, which wouldn’t be Apple’s main concern.]
The other EU bill, the Digital Markets Act, would pre-emptively ban certain behavior by what it deems to be gatekeepers—defined as companies with European revenue of at least 6.5 billion euros, equivalent to about $7.9 billion, or a market capitalization of at least 65 billion euros (some $79 billion), and which serve more than 10,000 active business customers and 45 million active end users in the bloc.
Such companies could, for instance, be blocked under the bill from tying the ability to access one of their services to purchasing for another core service from the gatekeeper. The law would also create other obligations toward smaller firms and end users, such as offering price transparency for online advertisers and allowing data portability for end users.
My take: The $79 billion cut-off is risible for a company like Apple, which is capitalized at $2 trillion. On the other hand, 10% of $274 billion (Apple’s fiscal 2020 revenue) is nothing to laugh at.