The European Union has confirmed the first six tech gatekeepers that must follow the rules of its Digital Markets Act (DMA). The names of these companies should be pretty familiar: Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta and Microsoft.
The DMA stipulates that gatekeepers can’t favor their own services over rivals’ offerings and can’t keep users locked into their own ecosystems. They have to let third-party entities interoperate with their services in certain situations too. Of course, these incredibly rich companies aren’t going quietly: Microsoft and Apple have already argued that, despite meeting the thresholds the European Commission laid out, Bing, Edge, Microsoft Advertising and iMessage don’t qualify as gateways and shouldn’t have to comply with the new act.
Apple will likely feel this most. Recent reports suggest the company may allow third-party app stores and sideloading in iOS 17. We’ll have to wait for Apple’s fall iPhone event, which is next week. But spare a thought for iPhone rival Samsung, which wasn’t designated as a gatekeeper. Do you think its execs have FOMO?
– Mat Smith