Big Tech Faces Ban From Favoring Own Services Under EU Rules

As part of the EU’s Digital Services Act, platforms with power to control could also have to share customer data with business rivals, according to internal draft documents obtained by Bloomberg.

The initiative comes as big giants such as Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google offer services across a widening array of sectors and as competitors increasingly rely on their platforms to offer their own services. Apple has faced heat over policies with its app store, which companies like Spotify Technology SA complain give an unfair advantage to the iPhone maker’s rival music service.

The EU says in one of the documents it wants to “constrain unfair behavior” by digital gatekeepers, the platforms that other businesses depend on to get access to customers. One policy option describes a blacklist of unfair practices for platforms in several key sectors, including marketplaces, app stores and social networks as well as online search engines, operating systems and cloud services.

A separate document outlining the potentially unfair practices says gatekeepers “shall not provide preferential display in online search engines or online intermediation services for their own services” and that “gatekeepers shall not pre-install exclusively their own applications,” nor restrict users from un-installing any of the apps.

In addition, platforms that provide advertising services, like Facebook Inc. and Google, shall submit to an annual audit of their advertising metrics, the document says.

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