EU designates Big Tech companies as gatekeepers and makes 22 services subject to regulation

EU designates Big Tech companies as gatekeepers and makes 22 services subject to regulation


11 September 2023

Under the new Digital Markets Act (DMA), the European Commission has classified six significant tech firms (Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft) as gatekeepers. Since the Act was passed earlier this year, firms have never been referred to as gatekeepers.

The gatekeepers' 22 core platform services have been highlighted by the commission as needing more regulation. Windows, LinkedIn, Bing Ads, Google Search, and the App Store are a few of these services.

Gatekeeper companies have six months to adhere to DMA requirements designed to prevent anti-competitive behavior and advance fair digital markets. Designated gatekeepers are required by the DMA to cooperate with rivals and grant third parties access to critical platform services including app stores, operating systems, and cloud infrastructure.

Additionally, gatekeepers won't be allowed to use information from one service to benefit another, such as when an e-commerce site run by the same firm uses information from a social media platform.

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.

Today's designation decisions follow a 45-day review process conducted by the commission after the notification by Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, Microsoft and Samsung of their potential status as gatekeepers.

On the basis of the businesses' arguments, the commission has began separate investigations into whether some services offered by Microsoft and Apple, such as Bing, Edge, Bing Ads, and iMessage, could be exempt from gatekeeper classification. Apple and Microsoft pressed the EU to stop the gatekeeper list, as we have reported.

A company's worldwide annual turnover could be fined up to 10% for violations of the DMA, and up to 20% for persistent violations. Additionally, the commission has the authority to enforce structural remedies that compel the sale of corporate divisions or acquisitions.

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