In October, Elon Musk acquired Twitter for around $44 billion and has since made a series of controversial decisions. The Federal Ministry of Economics is therefore alarmed.
The Federal Ministry of Economics advocates examining stricter regulation of the Twitter short message service taken over by tech billionaire Elon Musk. “It was with great concern that he took note of Twitter’s platform regulations, their abrupt changes and arbitrary application,” wrote State Secretary Sven Giegold (Greens) in a letter to the EU Commission. The Brussels authority should therefore carry out the necessary tests as quickly as possible in order to designate Twitter as a “gatekeeper” within the meaning of the Digital Markets Act. The letter to EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager and Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton is dated Tuesday and, according to the German Press Agency in Berlin, is available.
“Gatekeepers” are companies with a particularly strong market position that meet a number of criteria. They are subject to special requirements, such as restrictions on the handling of users’ personal data. The Digital Markets Act will be applicable from May next year.
Elon Musk’s Twitter course is causing trouble
After Musk acquired Twitter alongside other investors in October, he made a series of controversial decisions. In the past week he temporarily blocked the user accounts of some US journalists. Musk’s plan to no longer allow users to advertise their presence on certain competing platforms triggered further anger. Musk then promised to also put major policy changes to the vote in the future. After a majority of Twitter users voted in favor of his resignation in a poll initiated by Musk, he announced his retirement if a successor was found.
“General terms and conditions that change almost every hour, erratic justifications for extensive restrictions on links and the blocking of journalists’ accounts not only threaten freedom of competition, but also pose a risk to democracy, freedom of expression, information and the press,” wrote Giegold. He also wants to “encourage” the EU Commission to examine competition law proceedings against Twitter for abuse of a dominant position if Twitter should again hinder competition by permanently and systematically banning links to other social media platforms.