Seven major companies, including Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta (owner of Facebook), Microsoft, Samsung, and ByteDance (owner of TikTok), claim to fulfill the European Union’s new “gatekeeper” criteria, which impose stricter regulations, according to EU industry chief Thierry Breton’s statement on Tuesday.
While Samsung and ByteDance have unexpectedly agreed to meet the criteria, TikTok disputes whether it should be classified as a gatekeeper. Booking.com anticipates falling into the gatekeeper category next year.
The Digital Markets Act (DMA) of the European Union, effective since November, designates companies with over 45 million monthly active users and a market capitalization of €75 billion ($82 billion) as gatekeepers providing core platform services.
Gatekeeper companies must enable interoperability with competing messaging apps and allow users to choose which apps to pre-install on their devices. They are prohibited from favoring their own services over rivals’ or preventing users from removing pre-installed software or apps. These rules will notably impact Google and Apple.
Breton stated that Europe is undergoing a comprehensive reorganization of its digital landscape to safeguard EU citizens and foster innovation for startups and companies within the EU.
Companies that violate the DMA can face fines of up to 10% of their annual global turnover.
The European Commission has not disclosed the specific core online services of the companies subject to DMA regulations. By September 6, after reviewing the data provided by the companies, the Commission will confirm the gatekeeper designation, allowing the companies six months to comply with DMA rules.
TikTok argues that while it meets the DMA’s quantitative criteria, it does not fully meet the overall requirements, which demand that a gatekeeper be an “unavoidable platform for conducting online business in the EU” and serve as an “entrenched” gateway between consumers and businesses.
Booking.com expects to meet the gatekeeper threshold by the end of the year and will notify the EU executive accordingly. It fell short of the quantitative threshold in its Monday notification to the Commission due to the pandemic.