Europe’s Big Tech Is Confronted With a ‘Glass-Steagall Moment’


Large technology giants such as Google and Apple may soon face wide new legislation in Europe.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the new regulation constitutes the most significant rise in restrictions ever seen in the Western world, equivalent to the restraints imposed on the banking industry following market disasters in 1929 and 2008.

“This is a Glass-Steagall moment for big tech,” said Brian Wieser, a former investment banker and tech analyst, referring to the 1933 banking regulations. “They’re going from effectively no regulation to heavy regulation.”

Some of the changes, according to the report, would take impact immediately, influencing how customers search and purchase, while others would take years to be felt.

As new restrictions loom, the WSJ lists a number of precautions that Big Tech corporations have taken. To compete with Chrome, Google is proposing a “choice screen” for smartphone web browsers, while Amazon is introducing a new channel that allows users to detect potentially illegal products and content.

The Digital Services Act, which goes into force on August 25, is the first new law. It requires “large online platforms” to exchange data with authorities, follow a code of conduct, and conduct risk management and independent audits.