Big Tech Compliance Tracker: Europe Plans To Release Drafts Of Digital Regulation Legislation; UN Initiative To Tax Big Tech In Developing Nations Gains Momentum

Here’s the latest news from Google and the technology industry, which is coming under increasing global scrutiny from regulatory watchdogs, consumers and organizations.

Regulation

Europe Plans To Publish Digital Services Act, Digital Markets Act Drafts

European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager said in a webinar that to make the 2020s the continent’s digital decade “is every bit as much about building trust as it is about investing in digital innovation.”

“In just a few weeks, we plan to publish two draft laws that will help to create a more trustworthy digital world,” Vestager said.

The Digital Services Act will be one of the regulations, which Vestager said will revise the eCommerce Directive and will make digital services take additional responsibility for contending with “illegal content and dangerous products.”

The Digital Markets Act is a second set of regulations. They will have two pillars, which Vestager described as a do’s and don’ts for large digital gatekeepers and a “harmonised” market probe blueprint “across the single market.”

Taxes

UN Committee Indicates Support For Initiative To Tax Big Tech In Developing Nations

The United Nation’s Tax Committee of Experts has indicated support for an initiative to assist developing nations in taxing Big Tech, Bloomberg Tax reported on Wednesday (Oct. 28).

The committee voted 12-10 Friday (Oct. 23) to include Article 12B, an amendment, to its model agreement.

Proponents have cautioned that developing nations don’t have a sufficiently large role in an initiative headed up by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to get almost 140 nations to revamp the way in which the digital economy is taxed.

Those skeptical of the bill contend that the United Nations approach could bring about further division on the taxation of digital revenue of tech firms such as Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc.

The committee will wait on the final go-ahead to provide opposing nations with time to write about their objections in the completed iteration.

Vietnam Asks Netflix To Create Representative Office, Install Local Servers

Vietnam’s General Department of Taxation has requested that Netflix put servers and a representative office in the country to reportedly set the stage for the U.S. streaming company to pay taxes, Techwire Asia reported.

As it stands, Netflix has about 300,000 people subscribed in the nation who pay between $7.75 to $11.19 each month.

The streaming firm said in a statement per Techwire Asia that it is for governments to come up with the regulations on tax and, and while it follows the applicable rules, those don’t require a company create a local office or to locally install servers.

News

Google Competitors: Justice Department Lawsuit Indicates Google No Longer Has ‘Halo’

Competitors throughout the globe have gone public with their claims that Google unjustly uses its power in web search to edge out rivals. The tech company’s so-called halo in the view of those with the ability to control it has now reportedly lessened, CNBC reported.

“In normal cases, the first barrier to overcome was the Google halo effect, where people almost didn’t view Google back then as a business. People almost viewed it as some sort of public nonprofit,” Foundem Co-founder Shivaun Raff said, as per CNBC. “Now I think that halo effect has been very much diminished.”

Foundem was the head complainant in the European Union’s probe into the shopping comparison operation of Google.

The news comes as the Department of Justice’s new case against Google claims that the firm illictly keeps its general search monopoly via exclusionary deals and anticompetitive procedures.

A Google blog post referred to the Justice lawsuit as “deeply flawed.”

Pew Survey: 47 Pct Of Americans Believe Big Tech Should Face Greater Regulation

The Pew Research Center said that 47 percent of Americans indicate that Big Tech firms should be regulated by the government more than they currently are. Another 39 percent indicated that the firms should be regulated the same as they currently are.

Furthermore, 66 percent of Americans indicate that that they don’t have a lot of confidence or no confidence in social media firms to have the capacity to find out which posts on their sites should be marked as misleading or incorrect.

In addition, 72 percent of adults in the United States indicate that social media firms have an excess of power and sway in politics in the current day.

EU’s Vestager Says Splitting Up Big Tech Could Have Unintended Effects

Margrethe Vestager, the European Union digital chief, has advocated against splitting up Big Tech firms.

Vestager indicated that it would be feasible to compel the splitting up of Big Tech under existing European Union legislation, but she cautioned about unintended effects and possible long court disputes involving watchdogs and the Big Tech firms, 9to5Mac reported, citing The Information.

The official supports more stringent regulations on large companies instead, which are created to make sure they can’t take advantage of their leading roles, 9to5Mac reported.

Report: Google Has Campaign Against European Lawmakers Over Digital Services Act 

Google has an aggressive effort in the works geared toward French commissioner Thierry Breton and other Brussels watchdogs in regards to their intentions to roll out new legislation to reduce Big Tech’s power, the Financial Times reported, citing an internal report.

The document, which was drafted in reply to the European Union’s intention to roll out a new wide-ranging Digital Services Act, detailed a two-month game plan meant to take away “unreasonable constraints” to the business model of Google and “reset the political narrative” when it comes to the potential law, FT reported.

“As we’ve made clear in our public and private communications, we have concerns about certain reported proposals that would prevent global technology companies from serving the growing needs of European users and businesses,” Karan Bhatia, the vice-president for global government affairs and public policy for Google said in a statement according to FT.

“We fully support, and will continue to advocate for, a DSA that ensures technology can contribute to Europe’s recovery and future economic success,” Bhatia said.