The European Union’s General Court has dismissed the social media platform’s plea for interim relief against its designation as a “gatekeeper” under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The decision, reported by Bloomberg, marks a setback for TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, which had sought more time to implement the stringent antitrust regulations.
The court found ByteDance’s argument lacking in urgency, rejecting its request for an interim measure that would have postponed adherence to DMA rules until the EU reached a final decision on the appeal. ByteDance had petitioned in December to avoid immediate compliance, pending the outcome of its appeal against the gatekeeper designation. However, the court’s decision means TikTok will be required to abide by DMA regulations, scheduled to come into effect in March, even as the appeal process continues.
Judges emphasized ByteDance’s failure to demonstrate a credible risk of harm from disclosing confidential information, a key factor in their ruling. The rejection underscores the EU’s commitment to enforce strict regulatory measures on tech giants, including TikTok, to ensure fair competition and user protection.
As a designated gatekeeper, TikTok will join the ranks of other major tech companies such as Apple, Meta, Amazon, and Google in facing substantial changes tailored for EU users. These changes include granting third-party businesses access to their platforms and obtaining explicit consent for personalized advertising. Moreover, gatekeeper companies risk substantial fines, amounting to millions of euros, for any violations of DMA rules.
In response to the court’s decision, a TikTok spokesperson expressed disappointment while affirming the company’s commitment to presenting its case expediently. The ruling comes amidst a broader regulatory battle between Big Tech and the EU over the DMA, reflecting ongoing efforts by regulators to rein in tech dominance and protect consumer interests.
However, TikTok’s woes in Europe didn’t end there. Bloomberg reports a separate investigation launched by the EU under the Digital Services Act (DSA) into TikTok’s content moderation policies for minors. Concerns have been raised regarding the adequacy of TikTok’s measures to safeguard underage users, prompting the EU to delve deeper into the platform’s compliance with DSA regulations.
As TikTok navigates these regulatory challenges, its operations in the EU face increasing scrutiny, highlighting the growing emphasis on regulatory oversight in the digital sphere.
Source: The Verge