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EU consultation warns big players may become metaverse gatekeepers

The European Commission raised concerns about challenges to privacy, openness, cybersecurity, and equality in online virtual worlds.

The European Commission cautioned on Wednesday in a consultation on its new virtual worlds policy that online goliaths might govern the metaverse, barring small firms.

According to the request for evidence, which is open until May 3, the European Union’s executive branch is anticipated to release recommendations in the coming months, although they are unlikely to include a draft bill.

The document reflected past concerns aired by antitrust officials about possible digital goliaths such as Meta Platforms. “There is a risk of having a small number of big players becoming future gatekeepers of virtual worlds, creating market entry barriers and shutting out EU startups and SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] from this emerging market,” the report said.

The research identifies a number of policy problems for Web 4.0, which uses connected smart gadgets to generate immersive interactions between the real and virtual worlds. It addresses issues such as small business funding, equality, data privacy, cybersecurity, and transparency.

The EU recently passed the Digital Markets Act in an effort to prevent alleged anticompetitive behavior by internet behemoths such as Meta, Google, and Amazon. The bloc is afraid, though, that similar issues may arise in future incarnations of the digital economy.

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About MahKa

MahKa loves exploring the decentralized world. She writes about NFTs, the metaverse, Web3 and similar topics.

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