August 1, 2021

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At VivaTech, the Gafa are attacking the future European DSA and DMA

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The Gafa went straight to the point at VivaTech. Between discussions on the environment or the future of technology, the American giants also took advantage of the Salon, which is held in Paris until Saturday, to attack the two texts that Brussels is preparing to regulate once and for all platforms say “systemic”. Namely, the Digital Services Act (DSA, on content moderation) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA), on the economic power of Gafa, and in particular the control of their acquisitions.

Tim Cook was the first to lead the charge on Wednesday night during his video conference call from California. Certainly, for the boss of Apple, certain aspects of the DSA are going “in the right direction”. But DMA, on the other hand, will do nothing but … “destroy iPhone security.” “We hope to find a solution […] When something is not in the best interests of our users, it is our responsibility to say so. [Le DMA] will harm both security and data protection. “

Strategic stake

Apple actually fears that DMA will force it to embed other application stores in its iPhones, in addition to the traditional App Store. But Apple wants to keep control. “There is only one App Store and all apps are reviewed before they get to it. This allows us to avoid a lot of malware. There are 47 times more viruses on Android [le système d’exploitation de Google] that on our ecosystem, iOS ”, attacked Tim Cook.

The stake is strategic for the Gafa. The political debate on the new regulatory framework, which aims to establish ex-ante regulation, has already started in Brussels. Some states, such as France, the Netherlands and Germany, are even seeking to strengthen it. Since the DSA and DMA are regulations and not directives, they will come into force directly after the vote in the European Parliament, without transposition into national law. Until then, the Gafa intend to weigh with all their weight.

Invited Thursday evening, Mark Zuckerberg, the boss of Facebook, did not address these sensitive subjects, preferring to send his director of public affairs, Nick Clegg, to the front. “Hateful content ONLY represents 0.05% of the content on our platform. Of course, I would like it to be 0%, but we can see that their prevalence is not as high as we say, ”explained Nick Clegg.

“Everyone will be happy”, according to Thierry Breton

At this stage, Thierry Breton, the European commissioner in charge of the internal market and digital technology (and who therefore carries the DSA and the DMA with the competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager) remains confident. “The two texts will be adopted without any problem and in the end everyone will be happy,” said the commissioner ironically.

“I don’t want to regulate for the sake of regulating […] but when a systemic platform does not obey the rules, or seeks to take advantage of its position, there must be sanctions. This can range from a fine to a large, even a very large fine, and up to the structural dismantling of the company in Europe ”.

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