European Commission

Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta and Microsoft classified as ‘gatekeepers’

The six companies were classified Wednesday as online “gatekeepers”

The European Union is targeting Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google parent Alphabet, Facebook owner Meta and ByteDance under new digital rules.

The six companies were classified Wednesday as online “gatekeepers” that must face the highest level of scrutiny under the 27-nation bloc’s Digital Markets Act.

The act amounts to a list of do’s and don’ts that seeks to prevent tech giants from cornering digital markets, with the threat of whopping fines or even forcing Big Tech companies to sell of parts of their business to operate in Europe.

It’s part of a sweeping update to the EU’s digital rulebook that’s starting to take force this year, and comes weeks after a companion package of rules aimed at keeping internet users safe, the Digital Services Act, started kicking in.

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“The most impactful online companies will now have to play by our EU rules,” European Commissioner Thierry Breton, who’s in charge of the bloc’s digital policy, said on X.

“DMA means more choice for consumers. Fewer obstacles for smaller competitors. Opening the gates to the Internet.”

The EU’s executive Commission said digital platforms can be listed as gatekeepers if they act as key gateways between businesses and consumers by providing “core platform services.”

Those services include Google’s Chrome browser, Microsoft’s Windows operating systems, chat apps like Meta’s WhatsApp, social networks like TikTok, and others playing a middleman role like Amazon’s Marketplace and Apple’s App Store.

The companies now have six months to start complying with the Digital Markets Act’s requirements, which are spurring changes in how Big Tech companies operate.

Google said the new law will require it and other companies “to make various changes to the way their products and services work.”