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Microsoft, Google will not challenge EU gatekeeper status

Post Time:2023-11-15 Source:Reuters Author:Foo Yun Chee and Supantha Mukherjee Views:

BRUSSELS/STOCKHOLM, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Microsoft and Google will not challenge an EU law requiring them to make it easier for users to move between competing services such as social media platforms and internet browsers.

As part of its latest crackdown on Big Tech, the European Union in September picked 22 "gatekeeper" services, run by six of the world's biggest tech companies, to face new rules .

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) requires these gatekeepers to inter-operate their messaging apps with competitors and allow users to decide which apps they pre-install on their devices.

The DMA will apply to services from Alphabet (GOOGL.O), Amazon (AMZN.O), Apple (AAPL.O), Meta (META.O), Microsoft (MSFT.O) and TikTok owner ByteDance.

Those disagreeing with the label and its requirements have until Nov. 16 to take their complaint to the Luxembourg-based General Court, which deals with cases ranging from competition law to trade and the environment.

A Google spokesperson said it will not appeal the decision.

Alphabet's Google has the highest number of services, including its Android operating system, maps and search, which will face tougher rules under the DMA.

Google has adopted a strategy in recent years of working rather than fighting EU regulators, and it would be hard for the company to win as it is the dominant player, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Companies such as Zalando (ZALG.DE) and Amazon have challenged the Digital Services Act (DSA), seen as a companion legislation to the DMA, which imposes greater responsibilities on tech firms for the content shared on their sites.

Amazon, which had previously said it will continue to work constructively with the European Commission, declined comment.

"We accept our designation as a gatekeeper under the Digital Markets Act and will continue to work with the European Commission to meet the obligations imposed on Windows and LinkedIn under the DMA," a Microsoft spokesperson said.

Industry sources told Reuters that other companies such as TikTok and Meta could likely file challenges. Meta's Facebook, Instagram, Marketplace, and WhatsApp qualified as gatekeepers.

Meta and TikTok declined to comment.

TikTok earlier said that it fundamentally disagreed with the gatekeeper designation.

Apple, which Bloomberg News reported on Friday is also likely to challenge its designation, did not respond to requests for comment.