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7 Topics, 7 Weeks

3. Brussels Eliminates the Basis for European Digital Services based on Misinterpretation of Consumer Protection 

 

Dear readers,

The competitiveness of digital business models is a fundamental basis for economic growth in Germany and Europe. In the Digital Age, it is essential we advocate for a playing field that will stand the test of time and work against the overriding influence of global internet imperialists. The ePrivacy Regulation taking effect next May is meant as a pan-European regulation aimed at expanding data protection measures and standardizing the use of cookies. Despite its good intentions from a consumer perspective, it will have a disastrous impact. With the ePrivacy Regulation, Brussels is definitively rolling out the red carpet for internet imperialists like Google, Facebook, and Amazon and turning national tech companies into onlookers.

ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE
Conrad Albert, Member of the Executive Board, External Affairs & Industry Relations and General Counsel, ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE
» In the Digital Age, it is essential we advocate for a playing field that will stand the test of time and work against the overriding influence of global internet imperialists.«

The prospective EU Regulation will create a de facto monopoly in user-customized advertising for browser providers and for major platforms with a large inventory of registered users. Although eprivacy is important, this regulation will not provide more security for users. Instead, it will limit options since the number of local ad-supported online services will drop sharply once this regulation is adopted. Based on the unsound agenda out of Brussels, internet browsers such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Explorer, and Apple Safari will be delivered with a cookie-blocker setting by default. This will ultimately make market-leading browsers the bouncers used to centrally control the option of activating and thus tracking cookies: They design the user cookie settings at the highest level of technology and will give preference to their own services. The new regulation will also favor the big three in the global data business: Google, Amazon, and Facebook. They are the only ones that have large amounts of user login data. Since users register with these portals, the companies know their user habits and can control ads based on target group. All other digital services will literally have to "stay outside." The digital party is becoming very exclusive. The usual suspects are still on the dancefloor: Facebook, Amazon, Google, and company.

» We need a regulation that is up to date to allow us to harness all our potential. A regulation that clears the way for user-friendly services instead of blocking it.«

The Commission's plan takes Europe's online advertising budget and gives it to the internet imperialists – and it disrupts our business model. A business model that ensures we are also able to provide a wide variety of our content online – particularly from and in Germany. A business model that is a key factor for our media diversity and plurality of opinion. The economic basis for this business model is: advertising. The more customized our placement of these user groups is, the more attractive we will be for our advertising customers as well. In turn, they fund the diversity of services at no cost for users.

Digitalization has changed our purchasing and media consumption habits. We need a regulation that is up to date to allow us to harness all our potential. A regulation that clears the way for user-friendly services instead of blocking it. We can only accomplish this effectively and sustainably in an environment where everyone acts on a level playing field. Let's work together to achieve these goals and ensure that the German Federal government actively and emphatically votes against these proposed regulations in Brussels.

Sincerely,

Conrad Albert