Metaverse Has Set Off No Alarms or Need For Controls Yet, Says The EU Chief

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The metaverse, a shared virtual world that is accessible through the internet, has not sparked concerns or the need for immediate regulations, according to Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief. In an announcement, Vestager has revealed that an upcoming initiative aims to educate competition regulators about the dynamics of the metaverse industry.

The participation of Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook), Apple, and Microsoft in the creation of metaverse offerings has sparked concerns about potential imbalances favoring larger companies over smaller rivals like Roblox. Nevertheless, Vestager addressed these concerns by affirming that she does not perceive any competition-related problems associated with the metaverse.

Recognizing the wealth of innovation present in virtual worlds, Vestager emphasized that no single company can assert exclusive ownership over the metaverse. In the upcoming week, she will unveil an initiative that includes a toolbox of guidelines for engaging in virtual worlds and addressing counterfeiting concerns. Additionally, the initiative will put forth standards to ensure that virtual worlds remain open and interoperable, preventing undue concentration of power among a select few entities.

The European Commission envisions a Web 4.0 powered by open and highly distributed technologies and standards, ensuring interoperability between platforms and networks and providing users with freedom of choice.

EU Antitrust Chief Margrethe Vestager further emphasized, “In Europe, now we have a body of digital legislation, I think we do have time to explore, to know that we should not jump to regulation as the first sort of safety pad. We should be extra careful because now there will be a lot of work to be done to implement, both for the Commission but also for member states.”

European lawmakers aim to strike a balance between promoting innovation and ensuring fair competition, user privacy, and freedom of choice within the metaverse. The upcoming initiative seeks to provide guidance and establish a level playing field for participants in virtual worlds while avoiding premature regulation. By fostering an environment that encourages innovation and fair competition, the EU aims to harness the metaverse’s full potential in the future.

As the metaverse continues to evolve, the European Union remains proactive in adapting its regulatory framework to address emerging challenges and cultivate a vibrant and competitive digital landscape. The upcoming initiative reflects a proactive step toward understanding and navigating the complexities of the metaverse industry, ensuring a fair and inclusive future for all stakeholders involved.

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