EU hammers down on 19 Big Tech players under Digital Services Act

25 Apr 2023

Image: © niroworld/

Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, Zalando, Bing, Wikipedia and more will be given four months to comply with certain DSA rules.

The European Commission has today (25 April) declared that certain online platforms and search engines with very large user bases will have to comply with a series of obligations laid out under the Digital Services Act (DSA).

The DSA has been in the works for some time now as part of the EU’s plan to make the internet safer for users and moderate what kind of content is spread on digital forums.

Today’s move is one of the first decisions made under the DSA. It earmarks 19 Big Tech players, designating 17 household names such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, TikTok, LinkedIn and Snapchat as “very large online platforms” and two search engines, namely Google and Bing, as “very large online search engines.”

These labels mean that the 19 platforms will be obliged to adhere strictly to DSA standards on things such as the protection of minors, content moderation standards and rules around user empowerment.

The European Commission rules that those designated will have four months to ensure their policies are in compliance with the rules under the DSA.

The basis on which these platforms were designated for special status under DSA rules was user data that they were obliged to publish by 17 February of this year. All reach at least 45m monthly active users.

The full list of the 17 very large online platforms is: Alibaba AliExpress, Amazon Store, Apple AppStore,, Facebook, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Shopping, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube and Zalando.

In terms of user experience, these platforms, together with Google Search and Bing, will have to provide users with very clear communication around terms and conditions. These platforms will also be restricted from targeting minors with online ads and they will have to make it easier for users to flag illegal content.

Overall, more accountability and transparency surrounding how they use people’s data will be a requirement.

Commenting on the move, Thierry Breton, commissioner for the internal market, said that today “The countdown is starting for 19 very large online platforms and search engines to fully comply with the special obligations that the Digital Services Act imposes on them.”

Further designations for other Big Tech platforms may be coming down the line.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.