Two of the world’s largest technology companies, ByteDance and Meta, have filed objections to the European Union’s decision to label some of their services as “gatekeepers.” With this designation, the European Union uses the Digital Markets Act (DMA) to try and prevent large companies from imposing unfair conditions on competitors and users.
ByteDance actually only has one service on the list – the video-sharing social network TikTok. Meta has more services, listing Messenger, Facebook Marketplace, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp; for the last three, however, Meta has not filed a complaint.
Both companies believe that the services they objected to do not meet the so called gatekeeper requirements. TikTok claims that they have been operating in Europe for a short span of time and that is not enough for an adequate estimate. TikTok believes that sufficient market analysis has not been done for their categorization. In addition, ByteDance says they are the only company on the list that does not meet the financial requirements to be a gatekeeper.
‘We fully support the principles of the DMA, which aims to better enable challengers to compete with incumbent players. Indeed, our appeal is based on the belief that our designation risks undermining the DMA’s own stated goal by protecting actual gatekeepers from newer competitors like TikTok. Far from being a gatekeeper, our platform, which has been operating in Europe for just over five years, is arguably the most capable challenger to more entrenched platform businesses.’, TikTok’s blog post says.
The reason why Meta believes that Messenger and Marketplace should not be strictly monitored services is that they are part of Facebook. Meta further explained that the complaint was filed to clarify why Messenger and Marketplace have the status of a gatekeeper.
“This appeal seeks clarification on specific points of law regarding the designations of Messenger and Marketplace under the DMA,” a spokesman said.
“It does not alter or detract from our firm commitment to complying with the DMA, and we will continue to work constructively with the European Commission to prepare for compliance.”
November 16 was the last date until which appeals could be submitted to the decisions of the European Union. After this, companies designated as ‘gatekeepers’ will have to start fulfilling their responsibilities under the DMA.