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Margrethe Vestager speaks at a news conference in Brussels. European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager speaks at a news conference on the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Dec. 15, 2020 (AP Photo by Olivier Matthys).

The EU’s Push to Regulate ‘Big Tech’ Platforms Is Already Getting Messy

Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021

Regulating digital content and platforms was never going to be easy. As the European Union continues what is expected to be a multi-year process to turn its draft Digital Services Act into law, France appears to have jumped the gun and enacted its own version of the proposed regulations. In a 12-page rebuke couched as “observations,” the European Commission warned that France’s law “poses a risk to the single market in digital services and to Europe’s prosperity.” Just as it prepares to assume the EU’s rotating six-month presidency next January, France seems set on a collision course with the institutions charged with regulating digital content within the bloc.

At the heart of this legislative spat are tensions between EU member states and the commission on the relationship between national and EU-wide regulation of content and enforcement mechanisms, as well as policy differences on approaches to regulating online speech and Big Tech platforms. ...

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