The United States, Europe, and now France: the political and the authorities are stepping up pressure against the giants of the digital world. Two deputies, including the specialist in competition law Daniel Fasquelle (LR) and Valéria Faure-Muntian (LaREM) were presented on Wednesday proposals to toughen up on competition law and the regulation of large digital platforms like Facebook, Google or Amazon.
Starting from the premise widely shared that the competition authorities in the us or europe have not succeeded in recent years to curb the temptations monopolistic Gafa, they advocate to develop specific rules for these giants. "Because of network effects and economies of scale that they generate, the platforms tend to occupy positions hegemonic in the markets", they.
The existing law, even built, will not be sufficient to copeValéria Faure-Muntian, deputy LaREM
"we need to create a specific regulation, argues Valéria Faure-Muntian. The existing law, even built, will not be sufficient to cope. It is therefore necessary to develop specific regulation, as there are other important to the economies of networks, such as energy or telecoms."
The traditional tools of competition law are exceeded. These are based on the level of prices, for example, to determine if a market becomes a monopoly - if they increase, this is a hint that it is. The concept of "relevant market", against which we measure a dominant position, would also be too dated. Apple does not occupy a dominant position in the smartphone market. But in his case, some experts argue that the relevant market should be restricted to iPhones, which would mandate specific rules to govern the terms and conditions imposed by Apple to developers wanting to reach iPhone users. The european Commission has opened an investigation on the subject.
Another problem with the Gafa: they go too fast. The Gafa should declare any surrender to the authorities. "When a giant digital acquires an innovation, it is often through the acquisition of a start-up that didn't even have a turnover, or has only a small customer base, describes Valéria Faure-Muntian. And the authorities of the competition do not even see pass the operation."Crime of intention
The two mps also want to create a new criminal offence of "abuse of monopoly". A kind of crime of intent", which would prevent the final installation of the monopolies in either the manifest intent to create a monopoly (...) in particular because of anti-competitive practices". Remains to be determined legally, this "intention", the latter being obviously hidden.
To implement these terminals are the specific legal for the Gafa, it is necessary to create a new authority, specialist control, defend the two elected officials. The european Commission is also considering in the framework of the "Digital service act (DSA), a "package" of legal work that needs to update the regulation of online platforms and the competition law regarding the same. The consultations are ongoing and the DSA should be submitted at the end of the year or the beginning of 2021. "If the Commission does not move fast enough and does not go far enough, it will be necessary to consider a French regulator, estimates Valéria Faure-Muntian. Time is of the essence."
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