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EU Commissioner: It’s time to define “healthy competition” in metaverse

Big Tech is looking for business opportunities in the metaverse. To protect the next frontier, one EU Commissioner has used Web2 concerns.

In a speech in Brussels today, Margrethe Vestager, who is the competition and digital affairs commissioner for the European Union, wants to promote fair competition in metaverses.

Noting how quickly the digital economy grew during the coronavirus pandemic, Vestager thinks that the metaverse should offer new opportunities, but that historically, “dominance, entrenched positions, and abuses have rather been the norm.”

Vestager said regulators “need to anticipate and plan for change, given the obvious fact that our enforcement and legislative process will always be slower than the markets themselves,” and that it’s time for them to think about what healthy competition in the metaverse looks like.

The EU has already taken steps to stop big online firms such as Meta from obstructing smaller competitors. They have also raised concerns about the need for protections against discrimination and safety issues in the metaverse.

In May, the European Commission will release a “initiative on virtual worlds,” which may also include a policy for a digital euro.

Metaverse: open or closed?

The metaverse is a vague idea of how people will interact online, and it includes 3D environments, AR/VR, and digital ownership.

Microsoft, Meta, Roblox, and Epic Games, among others, have already started working on their own versions of the metaverse, most of which don’t let users move their digital assets between platforms.

In contrast to these “closed” metaverse environments, the Open Metaverse Alliance (OMA3) is pushing for a blockchain-based, interoperable network of metaverse platforms where users can own and transfer their digital assets, such as their NFT avatars, virtual property, and items.

OMA3 was started in 2021 and has partners like Animoca Brands, Dapper Labs, The Sandbox, Decentraland, Alien Worlds, Upland, and others from the Web3 space.

The Sandbox COO and co-founder Sebastien Borget recently told Decrypt at NFT Paris that “it is essential that users have true digital ownership of that content. […] They are the true owners of their avatar, but also their wearables, their equipment, their land, their house, and the content they create and earn as they engage.”

Borget added that “95% or 100% of the revenue they bring and they generate as they contribute to the development.”

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EU Commissioner: It's time to define "healthy competition" in metaverseTina concentrates on all matters related to NFT and Web3. Tina uses social media to spot NFT trends and report unique news.

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