Microsoft, Google will not challenge EU gatekeeper status By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign is pictured outside a Google office near the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, U.S. May 8, 2019. REUTERS/Paresh Dave/File Photo


By Foo Yun Chee and Supantha Mukherjee

BRUSSELS/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -Microsoft and Google will not challenge a European law requiring them to make it easier for users to navigate 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 chose 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 interact with their competing messaging apps and allow users to decide which apps they pre-install on their devices.

The DMA will apply to services from Alphabet (NASDAQ:), Amazon (NASDAQ:), Apple (NASDAQ:), Meta, Microsoft (NASDAQ:) and TikTok owner ByteDance.

Those who disagree with the label and its requirements have until November 16 to file their complaint with the Luxembourg General Court, which handles cases ranging from competition law to trade and the environment.

A Google spokesperson said it would not appeal the decision.

Alphabet’s Google offers the most services, including its Android operating system, maps and search, which will be subject to stricter rules under the DMA.

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

Companies such as Zalando and Amazon have challenged the Digital Services Act (DSA), seen as complementary legislation to the DMA, which imposes greater responsibilities on technology companies for content shared on their sites.

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

“We accept our custodian designation 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 complaints. Meta’s Facebook (NASDAQ:), Instagram, Marketplace and WhatsApp qualify as gatekeepers.

Meta and TikTok declined to comment.

TikTok earlier said it fundamentally disagreed with the caretaker designation.

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

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