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The big picture: the EU Commission in Brussels has proposed to discuss 2 pieces of legislation in the coming months: regulating digital competition in the “Digital Markets Act” and the “Digital Services Act” to protect users, regulate hate speech and protect individual’s free speech. Companies that do not comply risk fines up to 10% of European turnover or even breakup.

Why it matters: European Commission regulation usually takes years before it comes into force: all member-state parliaments have to approve the regulation. Implementation into national legislation also takes time. In this case the EU aims for 18 months. 

A number of European countries do not want to wait this long and decided to move ahead faster than the European Commission in Brussels with regulating Big Tech. They took the proposed regulation of the Digital Services and Digital Markets Acts as a starting point but added their own “flavor”.

National measures are taken by

  • France is introducing legislation forcing platforms for more content moderation and providing transparency how they do it.
  • German lawmakers last week approved new rules giving the country’s Federal Cartel Office sweeping powers. They can intervene in digital markets even before they become dominant.
  • Other countries having introduced legislation either affecting the Digital Markets Act or Digital Services Act are Poland, Austria, Denmark, Hungary.

The upside: Big Tech can deal with the European Commission to prevent a patchwork of national regulation they would have to comply with - even if working in the common European market.

The downside: Big Tech is facing proposed regulation by the EU Commission that goes further than any regulation anywhere else in the world. That's a tough pill to swallow and led to at least 160 lobbying meetings with the EU. So far to little avail.

But, but, but: even though it would hurt their bottom line, it’s hard to see them losing market dominance because of it.

Patrick Slavenburg is focused on the successful deployment of Artificial Intelligence in the “real world”. Not just from a technology perspective but also product experience, cost/revenue analysis and business models.

A particular fascination for AI at the intersection with climate tech and ESG metrics.

Patrick co-founded a startup highlighted in Bloomberg News, the New York Times, NPR, PBS etc. Their 2 AI algorithms appear as case study in a Stanford textbook “AIX: Designing for AI” (2020) by Sudha Jamthe.

Member of "AI SME Working Group" of EU Commission. Member global thinktank "IoT Council". Co-author new book on deploying AI for tech publisher Packt. Speaker & Chair at Enterprise AI and Smart Manufacturing conferences.