Big tech companies didn’t have it easy last week, as the European Union cracked down on some of the world’s biggest tech companies with hefty fines, warnings and upcoming regulations that are sure to ruffle their minds. feathers in the weeks and months to come.
Read more: Big tech companies face tough week after EU shutdown
In the latest news, EU lawmakers are moving forward with a plan that targets what they describe as anti-competitive practices by big tech companies and will limit the power that companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are in the digital economy.
The new rules are designed for companies with a market capitalization of at least 80 billion euros (roughly $ 90.7 billion) and offering at least one Internet service.
Read more: EU finalizes rules for regulating large technologies
Lawmakers have also considered banning targeted advertising, which accounts for a large chunk of revenue for companies like Google and Facebook, but companies will only be subject to restrictions such as child protection and more transparency requirements. strict.
Across the pond, UK Amazon users were told this week that from January 19 they will no longer be able to use UK-issued Visa credit cards to make purchases on Amazon .co.uk.
Read more: UK issued Visa credit cards no longer accepted by Amazon as of 2022
Amazon attributed the move to Visa’s “consistently high cost of payments,” which instead of “decreasing over time with advancements in technology” has remained high, preventing companies from providing the best prices to their customers.
The move comes after the payments giant announced earlier this year that it would increase interchange fees on items ordered in the UK from Europe.
See also: Visa-Amazon UK Spat puts interchange rates back in the spotlight
Even though customers will still be able to use Visa debit cards, a Visa spokesperson said they were “very disappointed that Amazon is threatening to restrict consumer choice in the future,” adding that “when the choice of consumers is limited, no one wins “.
That said, the payments company is undoubtedly feeling the pressure for fear of losing market share to Mastercard and American Express credit cards, and appears to want to fix the issue before the Jan. 19 deadline.
As the spokesperson said, “We have a long-standing relationship with Amazon, and we continue to work towards a resolution.”
In other news, Alphabet Inc’s Google has agreed to a five-year deal to pay Agence France-Presse (AFP) in France for online content, marking one of the biggest licensing deals ever signed by any company. tech company on “neighboring rights,” a requirement under a copyright law in France for large tech companies to engage with news publishers who want license payment.
Last month, dozens of French publishers from the Alliance de la presse d’Information générale (APIG) signed a similar neighboring rights agreement with Facebook, setting the conditions for remuneration for content published and shared on the platform of the ‘business.
The law follows years of complaints and pressure by news outlets on the government for losing advertising revenue to online aggregators such as Google and Facebook, which use content from search results or d ‘other features without payment.
On the bright side, Microsoft has launched a new sustainable data center region in Sweden, as part of its commitment to reduce carbon emissions, achieve zero waste certification, and operate with 100% carbon-free operations, with a 24/7 hourly energy corresponding to its partner firm Vattenfall.
“As Swedish industries and businesses seek to adopt and innovate on the Microsoft platform, our data center investments build on our portfolio of products and services while meeting important residential needs. , security and data compliance, ”said Microsoft President Brad Smith.
Beyond this initiative, the tech giant has already shown its commitment to the advancement of digital technology in the Nordic country. To date, it has invested over $ 1.6 million in Sweden, targeting projects around innovation, entrepreneurship, digital skills and workforce development.