Seven companies will have to adhere to new rules on digital markets in the EU, as they have self-referred as “digital gatekeepers.”
The new laws will see seven companies: Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, Microsoft and Samsung, all adhering to new antitrust laws in the EU. This will include prohibitions on treating their own services more favourably, preventing linking to other businesses, forcing users to keep pre-installed software or apps and tracking users outside of the gatekeepers’ core platform for targeted advertising without effective consent.
It should be noted that this is not the only anti-trust action from the European Commission that Google is embroiled in, as the company is also facing scrutiny over its ads business. Meanwhile, Apple is fighting anti-steering prohibitions laid on it by the Ninth Circuit courts in the United States as a result of the Epic v Apple case. However, the Digital Markets Act presents another major crackdown on big tech’s closely guarded digital ecosystems, with penalties including fines of up to 20% of a company’s annual turnover, and period penalty payments of up to 5% of average daily turnover.
Good for mobile gaming
By forcing Apple and Google to open up their ecosystems, which they have maintained a strong hold on via storefronts like the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, it ensures that competition amongst all platforms will be strong. However, we shouldn’t expect the giants to go down without a fight, and it may be that these rules will remain only effective within the EU market itself.
According to Thierry Breton, current commissioner of the EU Commission, the submissions by these companies who believe they fall under the category of digital gatekeeper will be reviewed by September 6. After this deadline passes, these seven companies - possibly more - will have six months to comply with the new rules.