The European Union has announced new digital rules, the Digital Markets Act (DMA), to regulate online companies’ market power. These rules target six major tech companies, which have been classified as “online gatekeepers.” The six companies include Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google’s parent company Alphabet, Facebook’s owner Meta, and TikTok’s parent company ByteDance.
Gatekeepers? The DMA focuses on the most prominent digital platforms within the EU, commonly called “gatekeepers.” These encompass online search engines, app distribution platforms, and social media networks.
Things have barely begun, and Microsoft and Apple are already claiming that Bing and iMessage shouldn’t be considered “gatekeepers” as they are not big enough. Bing has a market share of 3% in the EU. In contrast, iMessage potentially has around 1 billion global users, though Apple has not disclosed recent figures.
Under the DMA, these gatekeeper companies will face the highest scrutiny within the EU. The DMA outlines regulations to prevent tech giants from dominating digital markets. It includes the possibility of imposing substantial fines and even requiring Big Tech companies to divest parts of their businesses to continue operating in Europe.
The Digital Markets Act (DMA) is a set of rules that will force these companies to make changes to the way they operate, such as:
- Not stopping consumers from connecting with businesses outside their platforms.
- Requiring messaging services to work with each other.
- Banning platforms from ranking their products or services higher than their rivals’ in search results.
- Not combining a user’s data to build a profile for targeted advertising.
- Not installing essential software or apps, such as web browsers and the operating system, by default.
Companies that violate these rules may be fined up to 10% of their annual global revenue. Repeat offenders could face fines of up to 20% or divestiture.