The European Commission has designated its six ‘gatekeepers’ – core platforms which serve as a gateway for businesses – under its Digital Markets Act (DMA). Overall, 22 core services provided by the platforms have been designated.

The list of companies affected by the legislation includes Google-owner Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft and TikTok-owner ByteDance.

The six platforms now have six months to adjust their services and submit a compliance report to the Commission.

To qualify as a gatekeeper a company must have an annual EU turnover equal to or above $8bn (€7.5bn) in each of the last three years or where its average market capitalisation amounted to at least $80bn, as well as providing their core platform service in at least three member states.

The Commission has opened four investigations to further assess Microsoft’s and Apple’s submissions arguing that, despite meeting the thresholds, some of their core platform services do not qualify as gateways: Apple’s iMessage and Microsoft’s Bing, Edge and Microsoft Advertising.

The Commission did not designate Gmail, and Samsung Internet Browser as core platform services as Alphabet, Microsoft and Samsung’s arguments showed that these services do not qualify as gateways.

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By GlobalData

Commissioner Thierry Breton said in a statement: “More choice for consumers, fewer obstacles for smaller competitors: the DMA will open the gates to the Internet.

“With today’s designation, we are finally reining in the economic power of 6 gatekeepers, giving more choice to consumers and creating new opportunities for smaller innovative tech companies,

“It was high time that Europe sets the rules of the game upfront, to ensure digital markets are fair and open.”

The Commission can impose fines of up to 10% of the company’s total worldwide turnover. This can increase to 20% in case of repeated infringement.