European Union countries will delay a key target of finalizing new rules hitting tech platforms by the spring of next year, now saying they aim to reach a deal “as soon as possible,” according to draft conclusions circulated ahead of a leaders’ summit on Thursday.
The E.U.’s Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act are two heavily debated pieces of legislation unveiled last year by the European Commission that seek to curb the power of Big Tech. The commission set an ambitious goal of reaching a deal with E.U. countries and the European Parliament next year.
It can take years though for the E.U. to finalize legislation once it’s been approved by the commission, as member states and the parliament have to agree.
E.U. countries originally envisioned an agreement by spring 2022, according to an earlier draft from September seen by Bloomberg. In a more recent draft of the communique that E.U. leaders plan to issue during their two-day summit, however, that target was made more ambiguous.
The Digital Markets Act seeks to curb anti-competitive behavior, while the Digital Services Act would regulate online content. Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc. could all be affected.
E.U. countries are also planning to push for heavier legislation to protect against increasing cyberattacks as part of the E.U.’s “unwavering commitment to pursuing democratic values, both online and offline.”
In the midst of a massive shortage of semiconductors, countries backed plans for an E.U. chip strategy, anticipated in the second quarter of 2022.
Countries also stressed the importance of “secured space based connectivity,” although one E.U. diplomat said this line might be taken out of the European Council conclusions approved later this week, as talk about space based connectivity is early and those efforts could be expensive.
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