Facebook outage shows need for more players
Facebook outage shows need for more players

Facebook outage shows need for more players, EU’s Vestager says

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS, Belgium (Reuters) – The impact of relying on just a few big businesses, as demonstrated by Facebook’s six-hour downtime the day before, highlights the need for additional competitors, EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said on Tuesday.

The outage, which was the largest ever monitored by web monitoring site Downdetector, stopped the company’s 3.5 billion customers from accessing its social media and messaging services such as WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger.

Droves of users switched to competing apps such as Twitter and TikTok on Monday. Several Facebook employees who declined to be named told Reuters that they believed that the outage was caused by an internal mistake in how internet traffic is routed to its systems.

The incident showed the need for more competition, Vestager said on Twitter.

“We need alternatives and choices in the tech market, and must not rely on a few big players, whoever they are, that’s the aim of (the) DMA,” she tweeted.

Vestager proposed the Digital Markets Act (DMA) last year, which lays down a list of dos and don’ts for Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, essentially forcing them to adjust their primary business model to allow more competition.

EU lawmakers and EU countries are now debating their own proposals and will need to reconcile the three drafts before the tech rules come into force.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Louise Heavens)

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