The European Commission (EU) is considering legislation to reduce the power of digital tech and service companies.
The proposals are part of the digital single market package which aims to help the 28 member countries work more like a single unit.
By the end of 2015, the EU intends to begin assessing the storage and use of data, how search results are displayed and how easy it is for customers to move between services.
According to the draft proposal, “Some platforms can control access to online markets and can exercise significant influence over how various players in the market are remunerated. This has led to a number of concerns over the growing market power of some platforms.”
An industry group that speaks for digital service providers including Google, EBay, Netflix Inc. and Amazon, believes that regulating platforms is "ill-conceived given that businesses from newspapers to e-commerce sites to cars are increasingly becoming digital platforms.”
The Commission will also be examining data protection rules and possible legislation to allow for digital content to be portable across Europe as well as obstacles to cross-border sales.
For the past four years, the EU has been investigating Google over a number of issues including allegations that Google favours its own services and paid ads over rivals. Another area of contention is the EU court ruling about the “right to be forgotten” in which citizens can ask for outdated online information to be deleted.