Home News EU’s New Digital Market Regulations: Compliance Mandated for Tech ‘Gatekeepers’

EU’s New Digital Market Regulations: Compliance Mandated for Tech ‘Gatekeepers’

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Digital Markets Act

The European Commission has been notified by seven corporations, primarily consisting of U.S. tech behemoths, that they qualify as “gatekeepers” under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance (the parent company of TikTok), Meta, Microsoft, and Samsung have all affirmed that they meet the EU’s predefined thresholds established with the new legislation’s passage. Reuters reports that Booking.com is also projected to achieve gatekeeper status by year-end and will communicate this to authorities.

“Gatekeepers” are defined as businesses with an annual revenue in Europe exceeding €7.5 billion (about US$8.16 billion) over the previous three fiscal years, or those boasting a fair market value over €75 billion (around US$81.6 billion) in the last fiscal year in at least three EU member states. Additionally, they must have served over 45 million monthly active users and more than 10,000 active yearly business users in the EU in the past three years. This criteria seeks to encompass the major stakeholders, as indicated by the act’s name, aiming to regulate extensive online platforms acting as digital market “gatekeepers”.

The DMA obligates gatekeepers to maintain fair competition, prohibiting favoritism towards their own services and restricting user confinement within their ecosystems. It mandates these companies to enable interoperability with third-party services, and allows business users to advertise their products/services and negotiate contracts with customers beyond the gatekeepers’ platforms. This means, in the case of Google and Apple, they cannot bar developers from utilizing alternate payment systems. Furthermore, gatekeepers cannot prevent users from uninstalling pre-installed apps or downloading apps from external sources. This will result in significant changes for companies like Apple, long known for its “walled garden” ecosystem. In fact, Bloomberg reported last December that Apple was planning to permit third-party app stores and sideloading with the launch of iOS 17.

All designated gatekeepers will be expected to adhere to all DMA regulations by 2024. Meanwhile, European authorities will be evaluating the submitted notifications and assigning the gatekeeper role for particular platform services by September 6th.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Digital Markets Act

What is the Digital Markets Act (DMA)?

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) is a regulatory legislation introduced by the European Commission. It aims to establish fair competition in the digital market and regulate the behavior of major online platforms known as “gatekeepers.”

Which companies have been identified as gatekeepers under the DMA?

The companies that have been identified as gatekeepers under the DMA include Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, ByteDance (owner of TikTok), Meta (formerly Facebook), Microsoft, Samsung, and Booking.com (expected to achieve gatekeeper status).

What criteria do companies need to meet to be classified as gatekeepers?

To be classified as gatekeepers, companies must meet certain criteria. They should have an annual turnover in Europe of at least €7.5 billion (or a fair market value of at least €75 billion) in the specified timeframes. They must also have served a significant number of active end users and business users in the European Union.

What are the obligations imposed on gatekeepers under the DMA?

Gatekeepers are obligated to comply with several regulations under the DMA. They must ensure fair competition by not favoring their own services over competitors’ offerings. They must allow interoperability with third-party services and enable business users to promote their products/services outside the gatekeeper platform. Gatekeepers like Google and Apple must also allow alternative payment systems and not restrict users from removing pre-installed apps or sideloading apps from external sources.

When do gatekeepers have to comply with the DMA?

Gatekeepers are required to comply with all aspects of the DMA by 2024. Until then, the European authorities will review the submissions and designate gatekeepers for specific platform services by September 6th.

How will the DMA impact Apple’s ecosystem?

The DMA will have significant implications for Apple’s ecosystem, which has traditionally been a “walled garden.” Apple will be required to allow third-party app stores and sideloading, allowing users more flexibility and choice in installing apps on their devices. This represents a departure from Apple’s previous policies.

More about Digital Markets Act

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GamingMaster July 5, 2023 - 12:11 pm

So, the DMA wants to break down the walls of Apple’s garden? Interesting move. Letting third-party app stores and sideloading sounds cool, but I wonder if it’ll open the door to potential security risks. Guess we’ll have to wait and see if it’s a game-changer or not.

TechGeek21 July 5, 2023 - 1:31 pm

Woah, the EU’s Digital Markets Act is really shaking things up for the tech giants! Gotta admit, it’s about time someone stepped in to ensure fair competition. Excited to see how this affects the app ecosystem and whether Apple will finally allow sideloading. Big changes ahead!

Fashionista23 July 5, 2023 - 2:01 pm

Finally, the EU is taking steps to level the playing field! Those big tech companies have had way too much control for too long. Can’t wait for fairer competition and more choices. Bring it on, DMA! Time to shake up the digital market and give consumers what they deserve.

JaneDoe July 6, 2023 - 5:42 am

omg dis EU dma thing iz like soooo strict! i mean, dey want all dese big tech companies 2 play fair n stuff. no favs 4 ur own services n let ppl do wateva dey want wit deir apps. apple gonna hav 2 change its walled garden ways lol. gonna b interesting 2 c how it all pans out!

DigitalNomad77 July 6, 2023 - 7:10 am

EU regulators mean business with the DMA! Gatekeepers like Google, Amazon, and Apple better watch out. It’s all about giving users more freedom and options, which is great news for us. Can’t wait to see the results of this crackdown on unfair practices. Kudos to the European Commission!


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