In a significant development, both Microsoft and Google have decided not to challenge the European Union’s (EU) designation of their services as “gatekeepers.” This decision comes in response to the EU’s latest regulatory crackdown on Big Tech through the Digital Markets Act (DMA), aimed at fostering competition and user choice in the digital realm.
The DMA, introduced in September, identifies 22 “gatekeeper” services, operated by six major tech giants, including Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, and ByteDance, the owner of TikTok. The law mandates these companies to enhance user mobility by enabling seamless transitions between competing services such as social media platforms and internet browsers, reported Reuters.
One of the key provisions of the DMA is the requirement for gatekeepers to ensure interoperability of their messaging apps with competitors. Additionally, users will have the authority to choose which apps they want to pre-install on their devices, offering a more dynamic and user-centric digital experience.
Those opposed to the gatekeeper designation and its accompanying obligations had until November 16 to lodge their complaints with the General Court in Luxembourg, which handles a broad spectrum of cases, ranging from competition law to trade and the environment.
It is noteworthy that the DMA applies to a wide array of services provided by the identified tech companies, such as Google’s Android operating system, maps, and search functions.
Google, known for its recent strategy of collaboration with EU regulators rather than confrontation, has acknowledged the challenges posed by its dominant position in the market. Sources familiar with the matter suggest that, given its status as the leading player, Google’s chances of success in a legal battle would be limited.
Meanwhile, other companies, including Zalando and Amazon, have taken a different stance by challenging the Digital Services Act (DSA), which complements the DMA.
The DSA imposes greater responsibilities on tech firms for the content shared on their platforms, reflecting the ongoing efforts by the EU to establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for the digital landscape.