Skip to main content

Editorial comment

The EU Commission has named six major technology companies as gatekeepers of the digital economy under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). Five American companies (Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft) and one Chinese company (ByteDance) will face stricter rules due to their substantial market dominance. The DMA aims to rein in their power, promote competition, and protect user choice and privacy. The rules will take full effect in six months, with very high fines for non-compliance.

Register for free »
Get started now for absolutely FREE, no credit card required.

The European Commission announced that: “These are the first six companies designated as ‘gatekeepers’ under the Digital Markets Act. This status will prevent them from imposing unfair conditions on businesses and end users, and ensure the openness of crucial digital services. From social networks to operating systems, they have six months to ensure their core platform services comply with the Digital Markets Act, including: allowing users to unsubscribe and remove pre-installed services; allowing users to download alternative app stores; banning tracking outside of their services without consent, and banning ranking their products and services more favourably.”1

The new EU law speaks to the phenomenon of ‘digital distrust’: a growing sense of mistrust in technology and the cyber-verse. Some recent reports characterise digital distrust as: information scepticism, mistrust of tech giants, surveillance fears, and a rise in cybercrime.2 Until now, the way in which gatekeepers conducted their businesses has been either largely unregulated or based on sets of rules that, in the majority, pre-date the digital economy. The DMA will work towards making markets in the digital sector fairer and more contestable.

Digital distrust is a topic in this issue of World Pipelines: in an article starting on p. 23, Adeshina Adebusuyi, from James Fisher AIS, offers a blueprint for success for Nigeria’s oil and gas digital transformation journey. The article acknowledges that, while Nigeria is home to the highest number of technology hubs in the continent, it has a long way to go to fulfil its digital potential. One of the hurdles it faces is digital distrust, with the article explaining: “most [Nigerian] oil and gas decision makers will have at least one story to tell of how they were sold a vision of digital transformation, only to be left with an inferior product and no support to assist with implementation.” Adebusuyi lays out some steps to overcome this digital disillusionment and ensure Nigeria reaches its target of being a gas-powered economy by 2030.

Adebusuyi’s article sits alongside three others in our keynote section, which focuses on pipelines in Africa and the Middle East. On p. 9, World Pipelines’ Contributing Editor Gordon Cope offers information on pipeline capacity and projects in Iraq, Iran, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Mozambique, Angola, and Uganda. On p. 14, Emerson Automation writes about the key challenges faced by pipeline operators in Africa, focusing on how best to manage infrastructure and assets. Finally, Penspen outlines how energy producers in Africa can benefit from the recent shift (away from Russia) in Europe’s energy policy, offering some regional case studies (p. 18).


View profile