Microsoft and Google have announced that they will not challenge the European Union’s (EU) decision to classify them as “gatekeepers” – large digital platforms that will have to adjust to new regulations established by the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), including interoperability.
However, other technology giants, such as Apple and TikTok, plan to challenge the decision, arguing that, according to European Commission criteria, they should not be considered “gatekeepers”.
Google and Microsoft will accept the DMA without objection
In September this year, the European Commission announced the Digital Markets Law (DMA), a set of rules designed to regulate the market influence of major technology companies, known as “gatekeepers”.
Based on several criteria, the EU designated large digital platforms as gatekeepers that, due to their size and influence, play a controlling role in access to essential services, serving as entry points for companies and consumers.
To avoid monopoly, one of the conditions established by the DMA for gatekeepers is the principle of interoperability, which allows competing messaging services to work with each other. The idea is to give users the freedom to choose the applications they want to use.
As one of the companies considered gatekeepers, Microsoft commented on the possibility of challenging this designation in the General Court based in Luxembourg, scheduled for November 16th. The company said it does not intend to contest.
“We accept our designation as a gatekeeper under the Digital Markets Act and will continue to work with the European Commission to fulfill the obligations imposed on Windows and LinkedIn under the DMA,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters.
Despite having the largest number of services in the list of 22 offered by the 6 companies considered gatekeepers (see image above), Google declared that it will not appeal the decision and will comply with the standards stipulated by the EU.
Apple and TikTok will try to appeal the decision
Apple is one of the companies that plans to challenge the classification of some of its services as gatekeepers, on November 16th. The arguments should mainly focus on the iMessage application.
On November 8, executives from Google, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Orange – some of Europe’s largest operators – appealed to the European Union to include iMessage among gatekeepers which must comply with DMA interoperability standards.
Earlier this year, Apple argued that iMessage is not large enough to be considered a gatekeeper service under DMA criteria. Last Friday, the company informed Bloomberg News that it will contest the designation.
TikTok will also introduce a feature. In a previous statement, a spokesperson for the video platform said the company “fundamentally disagrees” with its designation as a gatekeeper.
So far, Meta and Amazon have not commented on the November 16th General Court, and we still don’t know whether these companies will appeal the decision designating them as gatekeepers.