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European regulators are cracking down on Alphabet, Apple and Meta. Will that have an impact on how their products work around the world?

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U.S. officials could learn a thing for two from their friends in Europe as they assume a bigger role in taking on Big Tech, says a Northeastern University antitrust expert. This week, the European Commission announced it was launching non-compliance investigations into Alphabet, Apple and Meta to determine whether they have failed to comply with the Digital Markets Act, which went into effect March 7. The antitrust law mandates that major technology companies deemed as “gatekeepers” must set up their products to be more open and interoperable. The act prohibits companies from giving preference to their own services over others.

The news comes just a week after the U.S. Department of Justice brought a lawsuit against Apple alleging anticompetitive behavior. The DOJ has also brought anticompetitive suits against Google, and the Federal Trade Commission has brought a case against Amazon.   

But Europe has the advantage, according to John Kwoka, Northeastern ​Neal F. Finnegan Distinguished Professor of Economics, because its regulations explicitly lay out its rules. That’s not the case in the U.S since officials are taking these companies to task through the court system. 

“The European regulations answer certain questions,” Kwoka says. “In the U.S., we don’t have a law or regulation that says you can’t do self preferencing. That has to be established in every court with regards to every practice of every company. That’s a laborious process of having to deal with it over and over again in the context of a particular case or company proceeding.” 

Read more at Northeastern Global News.

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