Tough EU Tech Regulations May Apply to X, ByteDance,

Under the EU stringent technology regulations, prominent digital platforms like Elon Musk’s X social media network, ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, and the travel site could soon find themselves facing new challenges. These developments follow the European Commission’s announcement that these companies may fulfill the criteria to be classified as “gatekeepers” under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). This declaration came after the firms themselves notified the Commission of their status.

The DMA, a significant piece of legislation aimed at curbing the power of major tech entities, identifies gatekeepers based on specific benchmarks. These include having over 45 million monthly active users within the EU and a market capitalization exceeding 75 billion euros (about $81 billion). Companies that meet these criteria are recognized for providing essential digital services to business users and are thus subject to a set of rigorous rules intended to foster competition and innovation in the digital market.

Among the requirements, gatekeepers must ensure the interoperability of their messaging services with those of their competitors and permit users the freedom to choose and install their preferred apps on devices, starting from March 7. Furthermore, such companies are prohibited from prioritizing their services over those of competitors or obstructing the removal of pre-installed software or applications by users.


Following this preliminary assessment, the European Commission now has a 45-day window to make a formal decision on whether to officially designate these companies as gatekeepers. During this period, the Commission will also evaluate any arguments these firms may present to contest their presumed gatekeeper status.

ByteDance had previously been designated as a gatekeeper in July of the preceding year, a decision that TikTok has since appealed to Europe’s second-highest court. The specific ByteDance services that might be classified as core platform services under the DMA remain uncertain. has anticipated its classification as a gatekeeper within the current year, attributing this expectation to an increase in its user base. This scenario underscores the growing scrutiny and regulatory challenges that major tech companies face in the EU, as the bloc aims to ensure a level playing field and safeguard consumer interests in the rapidly evolving digital marketplace.

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