June 12, 2024

In a recent development, Alphabet’s Google and Microsoft have expressed their compliance with the European Union’s antitrust law. Both companies stated that they would not oppose the decision of the EU Digital Market Act (DMA) law that views them as gatekeepers.

This move comes after the European Union identified 22 global gatekeeper services operated by six major tech companies. Microsoft and other tech giants must comply with the new rules as part of the EU’s broader efforts to regulate the activities of Big Tech companies.

Tech Giants to Comply with EU Rules

According to the law, these tech giants must simplify user transitions between competing services, such as internet browsers and social media platforms.

The DMA mandates gatekeepers to ensure all their apps are interoperable with competitors. This will allow users to choose the pre-installed applications on their smart devices. In other words, with this leverage, users can choose what app to delete or keep.

This regulation applies to services offered by Alphabet, Microsoft, Apple, Meta, Amazon, and TikTok owner ByteDance. The companies have until November 16 to challenge their gatekeeper designation and associated requirements. However, Microsoft and Google have chosen to accept their roles under the DMA.

Microsoft expressed its commitment to work with the European Commission to fulfill obligations related to Windows and LinkedIn. Meanwhile, industry sources suggest that other companies, such as TikTok, may file challenges.

This is because TikTok had previously shown signs of disagreeing with its gatekeeper designation.

On the other hand, Apple, according to a Bloomberg report, is also anticipated to challenge its classification, though the company has not officially commented on these reports.

In addition, Google is also dealing with more severe DMA rules despite Google’s diverse portfolio of services like Search, Maps, and Android OS. However, Google stated it will not challenge the decision, while Amazon and Meta have yet to comment.

Meanwhile, implementing the DMA rule will, in turn, pave the way for smaller firms to compete with major tech companies like Google Pay and Apple Wallet. This development primarily marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing efforts by regulatory bodies to address the market jam of significant tech players.

Tech Companies Deal with Additional Rules

The European Union has long been taking significant strides to curb major players in the tech space. While the DMA is chief among other regulations, tech companies face the Digital Service Act (DSA) rule.

The DSA is a comprehensive regulatory framework addressing aspects ranging from social media moderation to targeted advertising and counterfeit goods in e-commerce.

Besides that, it imposes responsibilities on major players like Facebook, Google, and TikTok, subjecting them to heightened regulation if they have 45 million or more users. It also applies if they constitute 10 percent of the EU’s population.

Furthermore, the DSA extends its reach to any business offering digital services to Europeans. However, smaller-scale entities face fewer regulatory obligations compared to the industry’s giants.

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