The European Union legislature has invited officials from Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Alphabet for a hearing on 1 February in Brussels to take action against the power of American technology giants.
The European Parliament will contribute to the European Commission's proposals in the coming months to force companies to have fair competition with rivals and impose more heavy fines against fake online news and harmful content.
"The purpose of the hearing is to have an exchange with the CEOs of major global platform companies to find out about their current business models and future plans if they face the challenges of changing market conditions.” said an invitation sent to the companies seen by Reuters.
“The event will help prepare members of the European Parliament for further discussion on possible new rules for the digital sector. For all these reasons we want to clarify that this invitation is only for the CEOs.”
The invitation stated that the legislature was ready to change the date on another day in February or March. However, people familiar with the companies suspected that they would accept the invitation.
Last Friday, it was revealed that Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Alphabet, would hold a video conference with EU cartel leader Margrethe Vestager on 25 January, according to a schedule of the European Commission.
A spokesman for the commission said that Vestagar, who emphasized the tough new rules, would discuss digital and competition issues with Pichai.
Earlier, big tech firms such as Google, Apple, and Facebook were asked to pay a fine of up to six percent for not dealing with illegal content and for not disclosing more about advertising on their platforms under the draft EU rules.
The tech giants will have to do more to tackle illegal content such as hate speech and child sexual abuse material, misuse of their platforms that impinges on fundamental rights and intentional manipulation of platforms, such as using bots to influence elections and public health.
The companies will be required to publish details of their online advertisers and show the parameters used by their algorithms to suggest and rank information. Independent auditors will monitor compliance, with EU countries enforcing the rules