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European Union Concerned About Metaverse Competition

The European Union, in a blog post published on Monday, expressed concerns that companies in the Metaverse might limit user choices and raise prices to dominate the market.

The EU is formulating a new strategy for virtual worlds where individuals can interact, socialize, or conduct business through avatars.

Facebook, now renamed Meta Platforms (META), has shifted its focus to align with this new technological paradigm. However, this shift has raised concerns among politicians. They worry that the company, adapting to this new world, may create a highly enclosed space, making it difficult for users to leave.

European Union Concerned About Metaverse Competition

Friedrich Wenzel Bulst and Sophie De Vinck from the European Commission’s antitrust unit pointed out that a company establishing a closed ecosystem could impose various restrictions on users, business partners, and competitors.

Such restrictions could include compelling users to buy specific products, charging excessive prices, and misusing personal data.

The EU has a history of challenging the anti-competitive behavior of tech giants. It recently fined Google over 4 billion euros for its practices with the Android operating system.

In May, the EU enacted the Digital Markets Act, targeting large companies like Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) that hinder competition. These companies could face fines of up to 20 percent of their annual revenue for non-compliance.

European Union Concerned About Metaverse Competition

UK MP Matt Hancock, speaking to CoinDesk earlier this month, expressed his concerns: “Meta is at risk of becoming the AOL of Web3,” he said. Hancock also expressed his hope for a more vibrant and diverse Web3 ecosystem.

De Vinck and Bulst emphasized that the EU’s worries extend beyond competition to include data privacy, intellectual property, and freedom of expression. The upcoming regulation on virtual worlds, expected next spring, might provide further clarity on these issues.

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