Big Tech faces 6% fine for breaking new EU content rules

Current EU laws not enough to address big tech antitrust issues, policy counsel says

Big Tech faces 6% fine for breaking new EU content rules

Large tech companies such as Google and Facebook will face fines of up to 6% of turnover if they do not do more to combat illegal content and disclose more information about advertisements on their platforms in accordance with draft European Union rules.

The EU's hard line, due to be announced next week, comes amid growing regulatory oversight of tech giants and their control over data and access to their platforms.

EU Head of Digital Technology Thierry Breton (Thierry Breton), who stressed that large companies must be held accountable, will present the draft regulation known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) on December 15.

The DSA Commission paper reviewed by Reuters identifies large online platforms with over 45 million users, representing 10% of the EU population.

The document states that additional obligations imposed on very large platforms are necessary to address the public policy issues and systemic risks associated with their services..

Tech giants will have to do more to tackle illegal content such as hate speech and child sexual abuse materials, the misuse of their platforms that violates fundamental rights, and the deliberate manipulation of platforms such as using bots to influence elections and public health.

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Companies will be required to publish information about their online advertisers and show the parameters their algorithms use to offer and rank information. Independent auditors will monitor compliance with the rules and EU countries will enforce these rules.

Big Tech faces 6% fine for breaking new EU content rules

Facebook declined to comment ahead of the publication of the EU document. Google said they have nothing to say at this stage.

The draft rules may take a year or more to enter into force as they must take into account feedback from EU countries and the European Parliament, which are expected to face intense lobbying.