EU Antitrust Chief Advocates for Caution, Not Haste, in Regulating the Metaverse
Margrethe Vestager, the EU antitrust chief, has stated that there is no immediate need to regulate the metaverse, as existing legislation for Big Tech provides sufficient time to explore this new digital frontier.
Margrethe Vestager, the European Union's antitrust chief, has expressed that there is no immediate need to regulate the metaverse, the burgeoning 3D virtual world.
Existing Legislation Provides Breathing Room for Exploration
Vestager, in her recent statement, emphasized that the comprehensive legislation drafted over the past five years to regulate Big Tech provides the regulatory body with ample time to explore the metaverse. This exploration is crucial before jumping into creating a raft of regulations for this new digital frontier.
The EU antitrust chief's initiative is aimed at helping competition regulators better understand the industry. This comes amidst concerns expressed by several players that big tech companies, including Microsoft, Apple, and Meta Platforms, could dominate the metaverse following the unveiling of various products and services.
However, Vestager maintains a different perspective. She believes that the metaverse is a hotbed of innovation and that no single company can claim ownership.
Regulation of the Metaverse: A Delicate Balance
In February 2022, the EU antitrust regulator revealed that the body was assessing options for regulating the metaverse. Now, Vestager believes that the regulations adopted in the last five years to regulate Big Tech, ranging from privacy to market power and upcoming artificial intelligence rules, can also apply to the metaverse.
However, this approach, similar to the one taken with the crypto industry, has received backlash from industry players in the US. This was evident when the Securities and Exchange Commission moved to court to sue Binance and Coinbase last month.
While the EU's approach to the metaverse—i.e., not rushing to create specific regulations for the industry—sounds promising in the early stages, it will be intriguing to see how players in the space react when the regulator begins to enforce rules designed for big tech on this burgeoning industry.