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EU Consultation Warns Against Dominance of Big Players in Metaverse

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The metaverse, a virtual world where people can interact with each other and digital objects in a fully immersive environment, is becoming increasingly popular. As more companies invest in developing virtual reality technologies and platforms, concerns about potential gatekeepers have been raised. The European Commission’s recent consultation warns of the risk of a few large players dominating the metaverse, potentially blocking out EU startups and SMEs from this emerging market.

The consultation highlights several policy issues for the metaverse, including data privacy, cybersecurity, and openness. The paper also raises concerns about equality and finance for local businesses. The EU has already passed the Digital Markets Act to address anticompetitive behavior by internet giants, but the commission fears similar trends could occur in later iterations of the internet economy.

The commission’s call for evidence is open until May 3, and proposals for the policy on virtual worlds are expected in the coming months. While it’s unlikely to include a draft bill, the commission’s draft warns of the risks of having a small number of big players becoming gatekeepers of the metaverse.

The dominance of big players in the metaverse could have significant consequences for the future of virtual reality. It could create market entry barriers and limit innovation, as well as reduce competition and potentially harm the interests of consumers.

As the metaverse continues to develop and grow, policymakers must ensure that it remains an open and accessible space for everyone, regardless of the size of their business. The EU’s consultation is a step in the right direction towards addressing the challenges of the metaverse, but it’s important to remain vigilant and continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. By taking a proactive approach, we can help ensure that the metaverse remains a vibrant and innovative space that benefits everyone.