EU ministers support the bloc’s anti-big tech campaign.

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EU ministers support the bloc’s anti-big tech campaign.

On Thursday, European Union member states agreed on an united position on two key pieces of legislation that may give Big Tech unparalleled supervision.

At a conference in Brussels, ministers from the EU’s 27 member countries agreed on the papers, which will serve as their marching orders in negotiations with the European Parliament, which are expected to begin early next year.

The European Commission proposed the Digital Services Act (DSA) and its companion Digital Markets Act (DMA) last year, with the goal of imposing never-before-seen restrictions on Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft’s business practices.

The versions adopted on Thursday were very close to the initial plans, although the drafts currently circulating in parliament are expected to increase the expectations on Big Tech significantly.

The talks will be led by France, which will take up the EU presidency in January, and French President Emmanuel Macron has made a deal on the rules a priority for his country’s six-month term.

As he arrived in Brussels for negotiations, French Digital Affairs Minister Cedric O called the two papers “probably the most important in the history of digital legislation,” alluding to a “historic day.”

The DSA is an attempt to harmonize internet rules against unlawful content, and it would impose harsh penalties for any failure to remove illegal speech or stop the sale of counterfeit goods.

Meanwhile, the DMA proposes a thorough overhaul of present competition regulations for Big Tech firms, as well as a list of precise Dos and Don’ts for how they do business.

The DSA, according to the CCIA, will provide much-needed clarification on the rules for online material in Europe.

“It remains to be seen if the Council’s hard work will eventually translate into a more competitive Europe,” it added of the DMA.

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