Six tech giants designated as gatekeepers under EU Digital Markets Act

Six tech giants designated as gatekeepers under EU Digital Markets Act

Six major technology companies have been designated by the European Commission as “gatekeepers” under the new Digital Markets Act (DMA) and now have six months to bring their services in compliance with the law.

Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, Microsoft have been designated in respect of 22 core platform services — including the likes of Google Search, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and WhatsApp — following a 45-day review process.

Under the DMA, the European Commission can designate digital platforms as ‘gatekeepers’ if they provide an important gateway between businesses and consumers in relation to core platform services.

The Commission has opened four market investigations to further assess Microsoft’s and Apple’s submissions arguing that, despite meeting the thresholds, some of their core platform services do not qualify as gateways.

A separate market investigation will further assess whether Apple’s iPadOS should be designated as gatekeeper, despite not meeting the thresholds.

The Commission has accepted arguments by Alphabet, Microsoft and Samsung that Gmail, and Samsung Internet Browser do not qualify as core platform services.

Thierry Breton, commissioner for the internal market, said: “More choice for consumers, fewer obstacles for smaller competitors: the DMA will open the gates to the Internet.

“With today’s designation we are finally reining in the economic power of six gatekeepers, giving more choice to consumers and creating new opportunities for smaller innovative tech companies, thanks for instance to interoperability, sideloading, real-time data portability and fairness.

“It was high time that Europe sets the rules of the game upfront, to ensure digital markets are fair and open.”

Commissioner Didier Reynders added: “The Digital Markets Act will help creating a level-playing field for all companies competing in the European digital market, as it will bring about more contestability and openness in markets. Today, we identified the first six gatekeepers that must respect the new rules set forth by the DMA.”

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