EU puts Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft and other players on the list of “gatekeepers”
Following earlier speculations, the European Union, after formally instituting the Digital Markets Act (DMA), has recently designated six corporations to its list of “Gatekeepers.” This esteemed roster includes Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft. Notably, Samsung, despite its significant presence in the mobile market, was conspicuously absent.
Earning the title of “Gatekeeper” implies that these entities hold significant revenue or user count in the EU market, granting them substantial market influence and potentially verging on monopolistic stature.
Products and services deemed influential by the EU encompass Alphabet subsidiary Google’s advertising, search operations, and an array of services including Android, YouTube, Chrome, Google Maps, Google Play Store, and Google Shopping. Amazon’s inclusion is attributed to its online marketplace and advertising ventures, both of which hold potential monopolistic implications.
Apple’s iOS operating system, Safari browser, and the App Store services are perceived as potent influencers in market competition. As for Meta, its expansive reach through platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and related advertising operations earned its place.
ByteDance’s renowned service, TikTok, inevitably led to its listing, while Microsoft’s Windows operating system and LinkedIn service sealed its inclusion.
According to EU stipulations, companies on the “Gatekeeper” list cannot confine users exclusively to their products or services. Furthermore, they must permit third-party entities access to their resources, ensuring the prevention of monopolistic dominance.
Presently, the EU has initiated inquiries targeting Microsoft’s Bing, Microsoft Edge, its advertising ventures, and Apple’s iMessage service, seeking to ascertain any undue market competition influences. Scrutiny might also extend to Apple’s iPadOS, determining its market impact.
Despite significant user bases for Google’s Gmail, Microsoft’s Outlook.com, and Samsung’s pre-installed browser, the EU contends these services don’t manifest monopolistic tendencies and, as such, are omitted from the list.
Prior to this, reports hinted that Apple, in compliance with the EU Digital Markets Act, might concede to opening its iOS to third-party marketplace providers. This shift would permit users to sideload third-party software, counteracting the monopolistic tendencies of the App Store’s operational model.