Europe vs GAFAM: All About the Battle Against Big Tech

US tech giants Google, Apple, Fb, Amazon, and Microsoft — collectively dubbed GAFAM — have been accused of not paying sufficient taxes, stifling competitors, stealing media content material and threatening democracy by spreading faux information.

As a European Union courtroom guidelines Wednesday on a EUR 2.4-billion (roughly Rs. 20,666 crore) anti-trust effective on Google, we take a look at how the bloc has tried to manage Big Tech,

Nobbling competitors

The digital giants are often criticized for dominating the market by elbowing out rivals.

The EU has slapped a complete EUR 8.25 billion (roughly Rs. 71,041 crore) in fines on Google for abusing its dominant market place throughout a number of of its merchandise.

The European Court docket of Justice in Luxembourg will rule Wednesday on Google’s problem to a 2.4-billion-euro effective imposed by the EU Commission in 2017 for abusing its energy over its rivals in on-line purchasing.

Microsoft was fined EUR 561 million (roughly Rs. 4,831 crore) by the EU in 2013 for imposing its search engine Internet Explorer on customers of Windows 7,

Amazon, Apple, and Facebook are additionally the targets of EU probes for attainable violations of competitors guidelines.

The EU has additionally unveiled plans for mammoth fines of as much as 10 p.c of their gross sales on tech companies that break competitors guidelines, that might even result in them being damaged up.


Germany, France, Italy, and Spain gained a serious victory in June when the Group of Seven (G7) agreed to a minimal world company tax fee of at the very least 15 p.c primarily aimed on the tech giants.

For years they’ve paid little or no tax by way of complicated tax avoidance schemes.

In probably the most infamous instances, the European Fee in 2016 discovered that Eire granted “unlawful tax advantages to Apple” and ordered the corporate to pay EUR 13 billion (roughly Rs. 1,19,444 crore) plus curiosity to the Irish taxpayer.

After a EU courtroom later dominated in favor of Apple, the Fee turned to the European Court docket of Justice to enchantment.

The next yr, Amazon was informed to pay again EUR 250 million (roughly Rs. 2,153 crore) to Luxembourg over comparable abuses there.

private information

Tech giants are often criticized over how they collect and use private information.

The EU has led the cost to rein them in with its 2018 Normal Knowledge Safety Regulation, which has since grow to be a world reference.

They need to ask for consent after they gather private info and should not use information collected from a number of sources to profile customers towards their will.

Amazon was fined EUR 746 million (roughly Rs. 6,424 crore) in July by Luxembourg authorities for flouting the EU’s information safety guidelines.

After having fined Twitter practically EUR half 1,000,000 (roughly Rs. 4.three crore), the Irish common opened a probe into Fb in April after the private information of 530 million customers was pirated.

France has additionally fined Google and Amazon a complete of EUR 135 million (roughly Rs. 1,162 crore) for breaking guidelines on pc cookies.

Faux information and hate speech

Social networks are sometimes accused of failing to rein in misinformation and hate speech.

The European Parliament and member states agreed to drive platforms to take away terrorist content material, and to take action inside one hour.

EU guidelines now additionally forbid utilizing algorithms to unfold false info and hate speech, which some main platforms are suspected of doing to extend advert income.

Paying for content material

GAFAM are accused by media retailers of getting cash from journalistic content material with out sharing the income.

To deal with this an EU regulation in 2019 created a type of copyright referred to as “neighbouring rights” that might permit retailers to demand compensation to be used of their content material.

After preliminary resistance, Google signed agreements to pay for content material with a number of French newspapers final yr, a world first.

Nonetheless, it didn’t cease the corporate being fined EUR half-a-billion (roughly Rs. 4,306 crore) by France’s competitors authority in July for failing to barter “in good religion” with information organisations. Google has appealed.


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