Promoting Fair Competition in Metaverses: EU Commissioner’s Call to Action

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During a speech in Brussels earlier today, The European Union’s Commissioner for Competition and Digital Affairs, Margrethe Vestager, expressed the need for promoting fair competition in metaverses.

Quick Take: 

  • EU’s Commissioner, Vestager, took to the stage at a conference in Brussels to emphasize the need for fair competition in metaverses.
  • Such virtual environments present fantastic opportunities for companies to boost their brands through online interactions.
  • However, Vestager believes that it’s time to consider what healthy competition in metaverses looks like.
  • As a result, she believes changes need to be made, including the use of antitrust alongside Direct Memory Access, to prevent abuse and dominance from tech giants.

Why the EU Commissioner Touches Upon the Metaverse

At Brussel’s Keystone Conference, Vestager acknowledged the importance of having a stable digital economy through metaverses.

Metaverses involve online interactions within augmented and virtual reality, digital ownership, and 3D environments. More big brands use such settings to boost their brands, presenting many new opportunities. As a result, she explained how such virtual environments were helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, she pointed out one central issue: Despite the EU taking steps to prevent tech giants like Meta from obstructing smaller firms via these virtual worlds, “dominance, entrenched positions, and abuses have been the norm.”

Moreover, she voiced the “need to anticipate and plan for change, given that our enforcement and the legislative process will always be slower than the markets themselves.” And added, “it is already time for us to start asking what healthy competition should look like in the Metaverse.”

Consequently, as of May, she explained how Europe would start enforcing antitrust alongside Direct Memory Access (DMA) — computer systems that access the main system memory of a central processing unit.

By controlling such trusts, the EU can “remain vigilant on deals that involve large platforms with market power.” The EU will work alongside potential gatekeeps and stakeholders in public workshops to achieve such goals.

Moreover, the EU commissioner expressed her hope to see the benefits of full compliancy with DMA obligations by next Spring.

Lastly, she ended her speech strongly, saying “preserving fair competition will be the EU’s fundamental driver.”

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