Home Browsers EU lists ‘gatekeepers’ to be regulated, opens iMessage and Bing investigations

EU lists ‘gatekeepers’ to be regulated, opens iMessage and Bing investigations


The European Commission has published a list of so-called gatekeeper companies that will be regulated by its Digital Markets Act (DMA), simultaneously announcing it will open investigations into the arguments put forward by Microsoft and Apple that claim iMessage and Bing don’t meet the threshold for regulation.

The Commission said it had notified Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, Microsoft and Samsung of their gatekeeper status — companies with a market capitalization of at least €75 billion ($81 billion) or sales in Europe of over €7.5 billion, at least 45 million monthly users in the EU. Twenty-two core platforms operated by these companies also fall under the scope of the DMA.

These include:

  • Four social networks: TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn
  • Six “intermediation” services: Google Maps, Google Play, Google Shopping, Amazon Marketplace, iOS App Store, Meta Marketplace
  • Three ads delivery systems (ADS): Google, Amazon and Meta
  • Two browsers Chrome, Safari
  • Three operating systems: Google Android, iOS, Windows PC OS
  • Two Number Independent Interpersonal Communications Services (N-IICS) or messaging services: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger
  • One search engine: Google
  • One video sharing platform: YouTube

Yesterday it was reported that Apple and Microsoft were arguing that neither iMessage nor Bing should be subject to regulatory requirements of the DMA as the platforms did not meet the threshold set out by the legislation. Both were left off the list published today.

“The Commission has opened four market 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,” the Commission said in a statement, adding that the investigation should be completed within a maximum of five months.

An additional market investigation has been opened to further assess whether Apple’s iPadOS should be designated as gatekeeper, even though is does not meet the thresholds.

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