Future Tech

Booking hit by EU’s crackdown on powerful tech platforms

Tan KW
Publish date: Mon, 13 May 2024, 10:57 PM
Tan KW
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Future Tech

Booking Holdings Inc’s travel services platform became the latest technology business to be targeted by the European Union’s (EU) crackdown on technology firms’ market power.

The move means the firm has six months to make sure it complies with a raft of pre-emptive measures under the EU’s flagship Digital Markets Act (DMA), aimed at preventing competition abuses before they take hold.

Following the decision, “holidaymakers will start benefiting from more choice and hotels will have more business opportunities”, Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust commissioner, said in an emailed statement on Monday.

At the same time, the European Commission announced reprieves for the ads business of Elon Musk’s X platform and ByteDance Ltd’s TikTok. Regulators also opened a market investigation into whether the rest of X’s services should be covered by the DMA.

A Booking spokesperson said that the company is reviewing the designation decision as it develops solutions to comply with the law. X said it welcomes the EU announcement about its advertising business and continues to cooperate with the regulatory process. 

The DMA is intended to head off competition violations by tech firms before they take root. It will be applied to companies with a significant impact on the EU market, with more than 45 million monthly active users and 10,000 yearly business users.

The EU law strikes at the heart of the business models of six of the world’s most powerful technology firms deemed to be digital 'gatekeepers'. Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Meta Platforms Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google, Amazon.com Inc and TikTok owner ByteDance have all been targeted for new obligations.

Under the rules, it will be illegal for certain platforms to favour their own services over those of rivals. They will be barred from combining personal data across their different services, and prohibited from using data they collect from third-party merchants to compete against them, among other prohibitions and obligations.


  - Bloomberg


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