Gatekeepers face stricter rules under the EU’s Digital Markets Act, but some companies are taking issue with their designation.
The EU’s effort to challenge Big Tech dominance is facing a backlash, as Meta and TikTok are appealing against being labelled as ‘gatekeepers’ under the Digital Markets Act (DMA).
The DMA is the EU’s new regulation to crack down on anti-competitive behaviour by Big Tech and level the playing field in digital markets.
Under these rules, companies that are designated as gatekeepers must follow certain rules to ensure fair competition, such as no longer deciding which apps are pre-installed on a device or which app stores customers can use.
In September, the EU designated six companies covering 22 core platform services as gatekeepers: Google-parent Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, TikTok-parent ByteDance, Meta and Microsoft.
But in a statement to Reuters, TikTok said it is appealing the decision and claims it does not meet the threshold to be designated as a gatekeeper. It also claimed that being labelled will protect “actual gatekeepers” from newer competitors like itself.
Tech companies operating in the EU with a market capitalisation of more than €75bn or an annual turnover of €7.5bn, that operate in at least three member states, and have at least 45m monthly end users in the EU and 10,000 annual business users are regarded as gatekeepers under the DMA. In February, a post from TikTok claimed it had around 150m monthly active users across Europe.
TikTok’s appeal follows a similar move by Meta earlier this week, which has reportedly taken issue with the gatekeeper designations for its Messenger and Marketplace platforms.
However, the tech giant is not appealing the gatekeeper designation of its Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp services. A company spokesperson told Reuters that it seeks to comply with the EU’s DMA but is appealing to get clarification on the designation of its Messenger and Marketplace platforms.
In July, Amazon issued a challenge to the EU for being included among a list of larger entities facing stricter rules under the Digital Services Act. This act seeks to tackle illegal content online and imposes strict rules on larger tech companies.
Yesterday (15 November), the European Commission sent a request to Amazon to provide more information on the measures it has taken to comply with its DSA obligations.
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