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European Commission questions if Microsoft and Apple should be subject to Digital Markets Act

Written by Fri 13 Oct 2023

The European Commission has asked users and rivals of Microsoft and Apple whether its services should be subject to the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

People familiar with the matter told Reuters that the EU antitrust regulator sent a questionnaire to rate the importance of Microsoft’s Bing, Edge and Advertising services, as well as Apple’s iMessage.

The regulator also asked if there were specific features of the services that business users rely on, how they integrate them within the companies’ ecosystems, and the number of users implementing these services. Respondents were given less than a week to provide their feedback, as the Commission seeks to conclude its investigation within five months.

Investigations were initiated in September after Microsoft and Apple contested the EU competition regulator’s classification of its services as core platform services under the DMA.

What’s the Deal With the Digital Markets Act? 

The DMA requires major tech companies to allow third-party applications and app stores on their platforms. Companies must also make it easier for users to switch from the default apps provided by these platforms to competing alternatives.

These rules are imposed to promote competition and fair practices within the digital market.

The European Commission published a list of six ‘gatekeepers’, including Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft.

Under the DMA, the European Commission can designate digital platforms as ‘gatekeepers’ if they provide an important gateway between businesses and consumers in relation to core platform services.

Samsung was also initially identified as a gatekeeper, but after the tech company provided ‘justified arguments’, the European Commission did not designate it as gatekeeper with respect to any core platform service. Gmail, Outlook.com and Samsung Internet Browser were also not designated as core platform services.

“Following their designation, gatekeepers now have six months to comply with the full list of do’s and don’ts under the DMA, offering more choice and more freedom to end users and business users of the gatekeepers’ services,” said the DMA. 

If a gatekeeper does not comply with the obligations laid down by the DMA, the Commission can impose fines of up to 10% of the company’s total worldwide turnover. This figure can increase up to 20% ‘in case of repeated infringement’.  


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Written by Fri 13 Oct 2023

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