Regulation of Big Tech

The world of Big Tech has been under increasing regulatory scrutiny due to concerns surrounding privacy violations, data protection, abuse of market dominance, and geopolitical issues. Several major companies have faced fines, bans, and legal battles as governments and enforcement agencies seek to address these concerns.

Fining Meta for Privacy Violations

The European Union (EU) recently fined Meta, the parent company of Facebook, a staggering $1.3 billion for violating privacy norms related to the transatlantic flow of data from the EU to the US. The fine was imposed due to concerns about the protection of personal data and the risks posed to fundamental rights and freedoms. Additionally, the Irish Data Protection Commission demanded that Meta suspend data transfers to the US and stop the unlawful processing of EU data in the US.

TikTok Bans and Security Concerns

India was the first country to ban TikTok, the popular short-video streaming platform, following border clashes with China in 2020. The United States has also taken a strong stance against TikTok due to concerns that the data it collects could be under the control of China, potentially enabling global surveillance. Several other countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Canada, Belgium, and Taiwan, have either banned TikTok or restricted its use on government-owned devices.

Google’s Abuse of Dominance

Google, the world leader in search, has faced legal challenges related to its alleged abuse of market dominance. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined Google over Rs 2,200 crore in separate rulings for its practices in India. The company has also faced criticism for its billing systems and alleged predatory pricing norms on its Play Store for local app developers. Similar concerns have led to fines imposed by the European Union.

Microsoft’s Blocked Acquisition

The Competition and Markets Authority in the UK blocked Microsoft’s proposed $69-billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the maker of the popular game ‘Call of Duty.’ The decision was based on concerns that the merger would hinder competition in the emerging cloud gaming market. The US Federal Trade Commission has also opposed the merger, leading to further legal battles.

Germany’s Action Against Twitter

Twitter, under the leadership of Elon Musk, has faced criticism for its handling of hate speech and misinformation. In Germany, the platform is facing potential multi-million-euro fines for failing to remove hateful content. The country has introduced mechanisms to tackle violations under its hate speech takedown law, and fines can amount to up to €50 million per case.




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