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Google Search, Whatsapp, and TikTok on list of 22 services targeted by EU’s tough new DMA


The European Commission has officially confirmed which technology companies and which of their services count as “gatekeepers” under its strict new Digital Markets Act (DMA). All listed companies appeared in a provisional list published in early July, and they are mostly made up of American tech giants. There’s Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft from the US, plus ByteDance from China. 22 core platform services provided by gatekeepers must now comply with WFD obligations by March 6, 2024.

Here is the full list of top platform services, as announced by the European Commission today:

Samsung, listed above, successfully argued that it falls short of the threshold to be a gatekeeper with its Internet browser. Similarly, Microsoft’s Bing search engine, Edge browser and advertising service are not on the list, but the Commission has said it is opening market investigations to assess whether they meet regulatory standards. The same goes for Apple’s iMessage service. The Commission has said this investigation will take no more than five months, but could result in Apple being forced to make iMessage interoperable with competing services on demand. It’s also looking into whether iPadOS should be designated as guardian.

Broadly speaking, the WFD is the EU’s attempt to rein in Big Tech’s market power by opening up entrenched platforms and curbing ecosystem lock-in and anti-competitive behavior by making them compete solely on the merits of their products and services. Major messaging apps will be required to be interoperable with their competitors, for example, while operating systems will need to be designed to offer third-party app stores and allow developers to offer alternative payment options within apps.

He exact rules companies will have to comply depending on which of their services the commission has deemed to have reached its regulatory cap (it calls them “core platform services”). Meta’s Instagram and Facebook will be regulated as online social networking services, for example, while Google Search will be regulated as a search engine and Microsoft’s Windows will be regulated as an operating system.

The DMA uses several criteria to determine whether a company and its service should be designated as an access gatekeeper, including whether a company has an annual turnover of more than €7.5 billion (about $8 billion) in Europe and a market capitalization of more than 75,000 million euros (around 80,500 million dollars), and if a service has more than 45 million monthly active users in the EU.

In the meantime, companies like Google Search (and Bing, if it ends up being included) will need to offer their users a choice between other search engines, while operating system providers will need to offer the ability to uninstall pre-installed apps and change settings. system defaults. such as virtual assistants and web browsers. Gatekeepers will be prohibited from giving preferences for their own products and services over other companies on their platforms. The commission has published a Quite extensive FAQ listing all obligations.

The compliance schedule.
Image: European Commission

Although today’s announcement is an important step toward WFD implementation, the process is far from over. He FOOT previously noticed that the commission is preparing for legal challenges over the rules, similar to what we have seen with Amazon and German retailer Zalando challenging the EU over their designations as “very large online platforms” under the Digital Services Act (DSA) .

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