The European Parliament Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted to approve the Digital Markets Act (DMA) Tuesday, imposing stricter restrictions on large social media platforms.
The proposed legislation would hold social media companies, or platforms with more than 45 million monthly end users, accountable for unfair business practices. The DMA would also restrict data collection of minor users, in particular, and would prohibit the use of such data for “commercial purposes.” Commercial purposes include targeted marketing and personalized advertising, also known as “micro-targeted advertising.” The DMA would also increase surveillance of large platforms that have unfair terms and conditions that amount to unfair competition.
The IMCO voted 42 to 2 in favor of the DMA. Big companies such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter could already be in violation of the DMA if they fail to inform users that they collect certain types of data. If the DMA is adopted as its currently written, companies that do not comply with the proposed changes will be fined between four and 20 percent of their worldwide revenue in the next financial year.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will introduce a “European High-Level Group of Digital Regulators” to coordinate the enforcement of the DMA and ensure regulatory power stays with the Commission, rather than with social media companies. The EU Parliament will negotiate the terms of and vote on the DMA next month.
The IMCO has not yet voted on the Digital Services Act (DSA), a parallel bill aimed at regulating illegal content and algorithms. Together, the DSA and DMA form the Digital Services Act package, which aims “to create a safer and more open digital space” in the EU.