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雙語閱讀

Fighting in Brussels bogs down plans to regulate Big Tech
歐盟的科技巨頭監管議案陷入僵局

Deep divides over proposed EU tech regulation likely to trigger long delays
歐盟科技監管提案的嚴重分歧可能引髮長久延期。
A frank intervention in the European parliament last month captured the frustrations that are blunting the EU』s attempts to curb the powers of Big Tech.
上月在歐洲議會(European parliament)進行的一場坦誠的辯論體現了一種挫敗感,這種挫敗感正在削弱歐盟遏制科技巨頭權力的努力。
Last year, the EU unveiled a radical blueprint for tech regulation that would put onerous responsibilities on the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon to clean up their platforms and ensure fair competition.
去年,歐盟公布了一份關於科技監管的激進藍圖,將要求谷歌(Google)、Facebook和亞馬遜(Amazon)等公司承擔重責,以清理它們的平台,確保公平競爭。
But since then, the package of measures has become bogged down in the European parliament, and now risks being watered down and heavily delayed.
但自那以後,這一攬子措施在歐洲議會陷入僵局,現在有被削弱和嚴重拖延的風險。
There are even fears in Brussels that the new rules will not be in place before Margrethe Vestager, the EU』s competition and digital policy chief, leaves her post in three years.
在布魯塞爾,甚至有人擔心,在歐盟競爭與數字政策主管瑪格麗特•韋斯塔格(Margrethe Vestager)三年後離任之前,新規則都不會開始實施。
「It sounded like we had agreed but that is not the case . . . at all. We are a long way from having a common position on this,」 Evelyne Gebhardt, a German MEP, said in exasperation during last month』s debate.
「聽起來好像我們已經達成了一致,但事實並非如此……完全不是。在這個問題上,我們距離達成共識還有很長的路要走,」德國歐洲議會議員伊芙琳•格布哈特(Evelyn Gebhardt)在上個月的辯論中憤怒地說。
The slow progress also gives Big Tech more time to fully capture key sectors of the economy. 「If we wait too long some markets will not be able to be repaired any more. This is about protecting consumers and small companies in Europe. We need to get this done as soon as possible,」 said one person directly involved in the parliamentary debate.
緩慢的進展也讓大型科技公司有更多時間充分佔領經濟中的關鍵領域。「如果我們等得太久,一些市場將無法再得到修復。這是為了保護歐洲的消費者和小公司。我們需要儘快完成這項工作,」一位直接參与議會辯論的人士表示。
The two proposed bills are the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which is designed to force the so-called gatekeepers, such as Google, to ensure a level playing field on their vast online platforms, and the Digital Services Act (DSA), which clarifies the responsibilities of Big Tech for keeping illegal content off their services.
這兩項擬議的法案是《數字市場法》(DMA)和《數字服務法》(DSA),前者旨在迫使谷歌等所謂的看門人在其龐大的網路平台上確保公平的競爭環境,後者則明確了大型科技公司在阻止非法內容進入其服務方面的責任。
But the package has split MEPs along a number of fronts.
但該方案在許多方面讓歐洲議會議員產生了分歧。
The biggest fight is over which companies should be captured by the regulation. Andreas Schwab, the lead MEP representing the powerful EPP Group in the parliament, has been pushing for the legislation to focus only on the largest platforms. But his rivals want the legislation to be wider in scope and target a number of digital services.
最大的爭論是哪些公司應該被納入監管範圍。安德烈斯•施瓦布(Andreas Schwab)是歐洲議會議員領袖,代表著議會中強大的歐洲人民黨(EPP),他一直在推動立法只關注最大型平台。但他的反對者希望立法的範圍更廣,並針對一些數字服務。
「If the threshold is too low, it would also capture a number of traditional companies. But this law is not for the general economy but it is specifically to target digital gatekeepers that are shutting down markets,」 Schwab told the Financial Times.
「如果門檻過低,也會涵蓋許多傳統企業。但這項法律並不適用於一般經濟,而是專門針對關閉市場的數字看門人,」施瓦布對英國《金融時報》表示。
Under his proposals, only companies with a market value in excess of €80bn would fall under the new laws. Schwab also wants to target solely the core digital services of each company, for example, targeting only Google』s search and advertising business.
根據他的提議,只有市值超過800億歐元的公司才會被納入新法律的管轄範圍。施瓦布還希望只針對每一家公司的核心數字服務,例如,只針對谷歌的搜索和廣告業務。
But the Socialists & Democrats (S&D), the second-largest political group in the European parliament, want to include other types of digital services, such as video streaming, music streaming, mobile payments and cloud services.
但歐洲議會第二大政治團體——社會主義者和民主人士進步聯盟(S&D)希望包括其他類型的數字服務,如視頻流媒體、音樂流媒體、移動支付和雲服務。
「If we only go after five companies this won』t fix the problem,」 said the Dutch MEP Paul Tang, who said companies worth more than €50bn should be regulated, a threshold that would also capture the Netherlands-based Booking.com, Germany』s SAP and Airbnb.
荷蘭歐洲議會議員Paul Tang表示:「如果我們只針對5家公司,這並不能解決問題。」他表示,價值超過500億歐元的公司應該受到監管。總部位於荷蘭的Booking.com、德國的SAP和愛彼迎(Airbnb)也應被納入這一門檻。
「I fear new gatekeepers will rise instantly once you have dealt with Google and the rest. We need the legislation to be future proof,」 Tang said. 「We have waited more than 20 years to reform the rules of the internet and so we will need to make it strong enough for the upcoming 20 years.」
「我擔心一旦你處理完谷歌和其他的事情,新的看門人會馬上出現。我們需要立法作為未來的證明。我們已經等了20多年來改革互聯網規則,因此我們需要讓規則在未來20年足夠強大。」
He also said his party believed the legislation should go after those platforms that offer more than one service because 「otherwise Big Tech will know how to bypass the laws with their army of expensive lawyers and this will be a missed opportunity」.
他還表示,S&D認為,該法案應該針對那些提供不止一項服務的平台,因為「否則,大型科技公司將知道如何利用他們身價昂貴的律師大軍繞過法律,這將是一個錯失的機會」。
Schwab, who has been quite vocal against Google』s business model, said too broad a focus would water down the EU』s ability to tackle the biggest problems. 「We risk having a law that wants to cover everything and achieves nothing. If this happens, it will be a great win for Google and other big tech companies,」 he said.
施瓦布一直強烈反對谷歌的商業模式,他表示,過於寬泛的重點將削弱歐盟解決最大問題的能力。「我們面臨的風險是,制定一項覆蓋所有領域的法律,實際上卻什麼也沒覆蓋。如果這真的發生了,對於谷歌和其他大型科技公司來說,這將是一個巨大的勝利。」
The impasse will not be easily solved. 「Everyone has a hard position and nobody is willing to move and compromise,」 said a person involved in the debate.
這一僵局不會輕易解決。一位參與辯論的人士表示:「每個人都進退兩難,沒有人願意改變和妥協。」
Some remain hopeful that a solution will emerge before EU states, the European Commission and the parliament gather for talks early next year, and before France, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU in 2022, heads into presidential elections in April. A meeting last week between all political parties aimed to bridge some of the gaps.
一些人仍抱有希望,認為在歐盟成員國、歐盟委員會(European Commission)和議會明年初舉行會談之前,以及在明年4月歐盟輪值主席國法國舉行總統選舉之前,將會出現一個解決方案。上周所有政黨之間舉行了一次會議,旨在彌合一些分歧。
Separately, MEPs are also fighting over the obligations large platforms should be submitted to. In line with the commission』s proposals, Schwab wants users to give consent over whether their data can be combined across services, for example between Google』s Gmail and YouTube. The socialists want this practice banned.
另外,歐洲議會議員們也在為大型平台應履行的義務而爭論不休。根據委員會的提議,施瓦布希望用戶同意他們的數據是否可以跨服務組合,例如谷歌的Gmail和YouTube。S&D希望禁止這種做法。
The S&D is also pushing for the new rules to force Big Tech to prove that acquisitions of small businesses are not harming the market or block them from buying smaller rivals, a measure that Schwab considers too extreme. It also wants a ban on the controversial practice of targeting users with ads, but Schwab opposes this.
S&D還在推動新規則,以迫使大型科技公司證明收購小企業不會損害市場,或阻止它們收購規模較小的競爭對手。施瓦布認為這一措施過於極端。它還希望禁止有爭議的針對用戶投放廣告的做法,但施瓦布對此表示反對。
Meanwhile, EU states are also vying to influence the outcome of the process. France wants individual states to have more power to fine big tech companies if they do not clean up their platforms. Ireland and Luxembourg, where several big tech companies are based, prefer the status quo.
與此同時,歐盟國家也在競相影響這一進程的結果。法國希望,如果大型科技公司不清理自己的平台,單個國家有更大的權力對它們進行罰款。幾家大型科技公司的總部所在地愛爾蘭和盧森堡更傾向於維持現狀。
Under the current rules, only countries where large tech groups are headquartered have the power to impose onerous fines and force platforms to remove illegal content.
根據現行規則,只有大型科技集團總部所在的國家才有權力對其處以高額罰款,並迫使其平台刪除非法內容。
「This is the main fight on the DSA that risks derailing it,」 said one person with knowledge of the negotiations.
一位了解談判情況的人士說:「這是關於DSA的主要鬥爭,但有可能使其脫軌。」
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