Using only a few large companies has consequences, as evidenced by Facebook’s six-hour downtime the day before, according to EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, who stated on Tuesday that more competitors are needed to combat monopoly power.

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

On Monday, a big number of Instagram users switched over to other social media platforms such as Twitter and TikTok. Reuters spoke with a number of Facebook employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity and said they felt the outage was caused by an internal problem with the way internet traffic is routed to the company’s computers.Vestager stated on Twitter that the episode demonstrated the need for greater competition.

“We need options and choices in the IT sector, and we must not rely on a few giant firms, whoever they may be,” she wrote on Twitter. “That’s the goal of (the) DMA,” she added.

A draught set of rules known as the Digital Markets Act (DMA) was introduced by European Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager last year, which set out a list of dos and don’ts for companies such as Google, Amazon and Apple while also requiring them to make changes to their core business models in order to allow for more competition.

EU legislators and member states are currently debating their own ideas, and a compromise between the three draughts will be required before the new technology laws can be implemented.

Azfar Alam
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