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Some of the world’s largest technology companies and their 20-odd services will have to meet their obligations under new EU laws that will force the likes of Apple and Google to overhaul the way they do business and generate billions of euros in revenue.

Amazon’s marketplace, Apple’s AppStore, Meta’s WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram, as well as Google’s search and YouTube, among many other services, are subject to obligations aimed at fostering greater competition in the sector in Europe.

A total of six companies, including Microsoft and TikTok, will have to comply with the new Digital Markets Act, which includes sharing data with competitors, making their services interoperable with rival apps and linking with rivals.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, is still seeking to determine whether Apple Inc’s iMessage and Microsoft’s Bing should be labeled as “gatekeeper” services after they pushed back, two people familiar with the matter said.

To become a gatekeeper under the DMA, a tech giant must have an annual turnover of more than 7.5 billion euros, a market capitalization of more than 75 billion euros and 45 million monthly active users in the EU, although EU regulators have discretion to designate beyond these indicators .

Some companies have questioned whether some of their services fall within the scope of the DMA. Microsoft rejected the idea that Bing should have the same obligations as its larger rival, Google Search. Apple also argues that iMessage doesn’t have the numbers needed to meet the scope of the new rule and should therefore steer clear of it.

Several people familiar with the EU’s thinking said the European Commission was ready to respond to legal challenges led by some of these big tech companies. Retailers Amazon and Zalando have taken Brussels to court over new obligations under the Digital Services Act, a separate piece of legislation aimed at clarifying how big tech companies should regulate the internet. These platforms claim they have been unfairly targeted.

The services covered by the new rules were announced on the day Margrethe Vestager became a formal candidate for EIB president. Belgian Commissioner Didier Reynders will take over her race affairs while she takes unpaid leave from the Commission.

The new obligations for tech companies also come at a time when their behavior in Europe is under intense scrutiny. Vestager first threatened to break up Google earlier this year, while the European Union will block Booking’s acquisition of Etraveli as regulators look more closely at digital deals.


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