Europe vs GAFAM: How the Battle Against Big Tech Unfolded So Far

US tech giants Google, Apple, Fb, Amazon, and Microsoft — collectively dubbed GAFAM — have been accused of not paying sufficient taxes, stifling competitors, stealing media content material and threatening democracy by spreading faux information.

As a European Union court docket guidelines Wednesday on a EUR 2.4-billion (roughly Rs. 20,666 crore) anti-trust fantastic on Google, we have a look at how the bloc has tried to manage Massive Tech.

Nobbling competitors

The digital giants are recurrently criticised for dominating the market by elbowing out rivals.

The EU has slapped a complete EUR 8.25 billion (roughly Rs. 71,041 crore) in fines on Google for abusing its dominant market place throughout a number of of its merchandise.

The European Courtroom of Justice in Luxembourg will rule Wednesday on Google’s problem to a 2.4-billion-euro fantastic imposed by the EU Fee in 2017 for abusing its energy over its rivals in on-line buying.

Microsoft was fined EUR 561 million (roughly Rs. 4,831 crore) by the EU in 2013 for imposing its search engine Web Explorer on customers of Home windows 7.

Amazon, Apple, and Fb are additionally the targets of EU probes for doable violations of competitors guidelines.

The EU has additionally unveiled plans for mammoth fines of as much as 10 % of their gross sales on tech corporations that break competitors guidelines, that might even result in them being damaged up.


Germany, France, Italy, and Spain received a serious victory in June when the Group of Seven (G7) agreed to a minimal world company tax charge of no less than 15 % primarily aimed on the tech giants.

For years they’ve paid little or no tax by complicated tax avoidance schemes.

In probably the most infamous instances, the European Fee in 2016 discovered that Eire granted “unlawful tax advantages to Apple” and ordered the corporate to pay EUR 13 billion (roughly Rs. 1,19,444 crore) plus curiosity to the Irish taxpayer.

After a EU court docket later dominated in favour of Apple, the Fee turned to the European Courtroom of Justice to enchantment.

The next 12 months, Amazon was informed to pay again EUR 250 million (roughly Rs. 2,153 crore) to Luxembourg over comparable abuses there.

Private information

Tech giants are recurrently criticised over how they collect and use private information.

The EU has led the cost to rein them in with its 2018 Common Information Safety Regulation, which has since develop into a global reference.

They need to ask for consent after they acquire private info and will not use information collected from a number of sources to profile customers towards their will.

Amazon was fined EUR 746 million (roughly Rs. 6,424 crore) in July by Luxembourg authorities for flouting the EU’s information safety guidelines.

After having fined Twitter practically EUR half 1,000,000 (roughly Rs. 4.3 crore), the Irish common opened a probe into Fb in April after the non-public information of 530 million customers was pirated.

France has additionally fined Google and Amazon a complete of EUR 135 million (roughly Rs. 1,162 crore) for breaking guidelines on pc cookies.

Pretend information and hate speech

Social networks are sometimes accused of failing to rein in misinformation and hate speech.

The European Parliament and member states agreed to drive platforms to take away terrorist content material, and to take action inside one hour.

EU guidelines now additionally forbid utilizing algorithms to unfold false info and hate speech, which some main platforms are suspected of doing to extend advert income.

Paying for content material

GAFAM are accused by media shops of creating wealth from journalistic content material with out sharing the income.

To sort out this an EU legislation in 2019 created a type of copyright known as “neighbouring rights” that may enable shops to demand compensation to be used of their content material.

After preliminary resistance, Google signed agreements to pay for content material with a number of French newspapers final 12 months, a world first.

Nevertheless, it didn’t cease the corporate being fined EUR half-a-billion (roughly Rs. 4,306 crore) by France’s competitors authority in July for failing to barter “in good religion” with information organisations. Google has appealed.

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