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EU Competition Chief Margrethe Vestager Says DMA’s Priority is App Stores

Digital Markets Act

The new Digital Markets Act (DMA) will reportedly focus first on app stores.

European Union (EU) competition chief Margrethe Vestager told Bloomberg TV Tuesday (March 5) that her priority is that smaller app stores be given fair access to operating systems, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. 

It’s important that users have access to more than one app store on their device so that if they are dissatisfied with one app store, they can go to another, Vestager said, per the report.

Vestager’s comments to Bloomberg TV came ahead of the Thursday (March 7) implementation of the DMA, a comprehensive law meant to counter any potential market abuse by tech giants operating in the EU, according to the report.

The DMA’s rules encompass the tech giants’ operating systems, app stores and platforms, the report said. It also enables fines totaling up to 10% of a firm’s annual worldwide revenue, or 20% in the case of repeat offenders.

In other comments made during the interview, Vestager said that the DMA specifies fee structures that can be used by tech companies, and that firms shouldn’t make their plans “unattractive” to clients and users, per the report.

She also told Bloomberg TV that the EU’s focus on tech giants should not be perceived as having a bias against U.S. companies. Instead, Vestager said, it aims to maintain a market that is open and dynamic, for competitors headquartered anywhere in the world, according to the report.

In other recent news around the DMA, it was reported Friday (March 1) that X, ByteDance and Booking.com could be added to the EU’s “gatekeeper” list of tech companies that will be required to ensure that their message apps interoperate with rivals, allowing users to choose which apps to preinstall on their devices.

The gatekeeper list already includes Meta, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet. ByteDance was named a gatekeeper last year, though its social media platform TikTok has challenged that designation.

In January, Meta announced that users in Europe will soon have more choices regarding how they consume the company’s services, including Instagram and Facebook, as it works to comply with the DMA.