Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

Apple on EU 'hit list' of big tech companies that will face stricter rules

Credit: European Commission

The European Union plans to impose new and stricter regulations on a "hit list" of 20 large internet companies — including Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple.

EU regulators, who are seeking new powers to police Big Tech in Europe, are currently drawing up that "hit list." The companies will be subject to more stringent rules in an effort to curb their market power.

The list of rules will be based on criteria such as the number of users a company has, or the market share of revenues, according to The Financial Times. It could also include technology companies deemed so powerful that rivals can't trade without using their platforms.

Companies that find themselves on the list may face new rules that could force them to be more transparent about the information they gather and regulations requiring them to share data with their competitors. It's likely that the list will skew toward companies in the U.S., which could cause tensions between Brussels and Washington.

Although EU regulators are still mulling the exact number of companies and precise criteria, the move to acquire new policing powers is part of a broader effort by Brussels to curb a company's market power without a full investigation, or without finding them guilty of breaking existing antitrust laws.

The other potential powers that the EU is exploring will go beyond fines, and could allow regulators to "move quickly to force the likes of Amazon and Apple to ensure they give access to competitors and that they share data with rivals."

In some circumstances, the EU could seek to break up big technology companies or force them to sell units if they are found to be exhibiting anticompetitive behavior.

The EU is also drafting new rules for an overhaul of internet regulations in Europe. Proposals for that so-called Digital Services Act, which could come in December, will seek to place more responsibility on internet platforms for policing illegal content on their platforms, as well as products being sold.