Europe vs GAFAM: How the Battle Against Big Tech Unfolded So Far


US tech giants Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft – collectively called GAFAM – have been accused of threatening democracy by not paying enough taxes, undermining competition, stealing media content, and spreading fake news. Has been charged.

As a The European Union The court on Wednesday imposed an anti-trust fine of 2.4 billion euros (about Rs 20,666 crore) Google, we look at how the bloc has attempted to regulate big tech,

nobling competition

Digital giants are regularly criticized for dominating the market by out-performing rivals.

The European Union has fined Google a total of 8.25 billion euros (about Rs 71,041 crore) for abusing its dominant market position in several of its products.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg will rule on Wednesday challenging the 2.4 billion euro fine imposed by Google. European Union Commission For abusing its power over its competitors in online shopping in 2017.

Microsoft In 2013, the European Union was fined 561 million euros (about Rs 4,831 crore) for imposing its search engine. internet explorer on users of Windows 7,

heroine, Apple, And Facebook They are also the target of an EU investigation for possible violations of competition rules.

The European Union has also unveiled a plan to impose hefty fines of up to 10 percent of their sales on tech firms that break competition rules, which can be broken as well.

to tax

Germany, France, Italy and Spain scored a major victory in June when the Group of Seven (G7) agreed to a minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15 percent, aimed primarily at tech giants.

Over the years they have paid little or no tax through complex tax avoidance schemes.

In one of the most notorious cases, in 2016 the European Commission found that Ireland provided “illegal tax advantages to Apple” and ordered the company to pay 13 billion euros (about Rs 1,19,444 crore) plus interest to the Irish taxpayer. Gave.

After an EU court ruled in Apple’s favor, the commission turned to the European Court of Appeal to appeal.

The following year, Amazon was asked to pay 250 million euros (about Rs 2,153 crore) over similar abuses in Luxembourg.

personal data

Tech giants are regularly criticized for how they collect and use personal data.

The European Union has led the charge to rein in them with its 2018 General Data Protection Regulation, which has since become an international reference.

They must ask for consent when they collect personal information and can no longer use data collected from multiple sources to profile users against their will.

In July Luxembourg authorities fined Amazon 746 million euros (about Rs 6,424 crore) for violating EU data protection rules.

after the fine Twitter Around half a million euros (about Rs 4.3 crore), the Irish regular launched an investigation into Facebook in April after personal data of 530 million users was pirated.

France has also fined Google and Amazon a total of 135 million euros (about Rs 1,162 crore) for breaking rules on computer cookies.

Fake news and hate speech

The social network is often accused of failing to rein in misinformation and hate speech.

The European Parliament and member states agreed to remove terrorist content and to compel platforms to do so within an hour.

EU rules now also forbid the use of algorithms to spread misinformation and hate speech, which some major platforms are suspected of doing to increase advertising revenue.

pay for content

GAFAM is accused by media outlets of making money from journalistic content without sharing the revenue.

To combat this, EU law in 2019 created a form of copyright called “neighbor rights” that would allow outlets to demand compensation for the use of their content.

After initial protests, Google last year signed agreements with several French newspapers to pay for content, a first in the world.

However, that didn’t stop the company from being fined half a billion euros (about Rs 4,306 crore) by France’s competition authority in July for failing to negotiate “in good faith” with news organizations. Google appealed.


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