EU opens new investigations into tech ‘gatekeepers’

1 min read

The EU has opened investigations into Apple, Facebook owner Meta and Google owner Alphabet, among others.

The announcement highlights the growing regulatory scrutiny on the power of big tech companies and follows the US decision to take legal action against Apple, which it has accused of monopolising the smartphone market and crushing competition.

The European Commission will examine whether the big tech companies are preventing developers from steering customers away from controlled app stores, which could be anti-competitive.

The investigation comes under powers introduced in the Digital Markets Act (DMA) which was a landmark piece of legislation aimed at curbing the power of big tech and the commission is accusing companies of non-compliance with the act and a failure to provide a fairer and more open digital space for European citizens and businesses.

Should the investigation conclude that there is lack of full compliance with the DMA, gatekeeper companies could face heavy fines.

Designated as ‘gatekeepers’ by the DMA, Google owner Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, TikTok owner ByteDance, Meta and Microsoft have special responsibilities because of their dominance of key mobile technologies.

These companies are accused of steering developers away from competitor platforms and imposing various restrictions and limitations on their use.

The big tech companies are facing a growing legal backlash and last month Apple was fined over its iOS ecosystem and business practices by the EU.

Whether this case succeeds of not, it’s interesting to note the growing willingness of the authorities to take these tech giants to court.

About time, according to some critics.