By Tara SUTER
The European Union has announced new digital rules targeting global tech giants Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google parent company Alphabet, Facebook parent company Meta and TikTok parent company ByteDance.
The tech firms as of Wednesday are classified as online "gatekeepers," subjecting them to the highest level of scrutiny under the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA).
"The most impactful online companies will now have to play by our EU rules," European Commissioner Thierry Breton said on X, formerly known as Twitter. "DMA means more choice for consumers. Fewer obstacles for smaller competitors. Opening the gates to the Internet."
The executive commission of the EU said companies may be listed as gatekeepers if they provide a bridge between businesses and consumers through "core platform services." Examples include Google's Chrome browser and Apple's App store.
The tech companies have a timeline of six months to begin to comply with the requirements of the Digital Markets Act. Violation of the new rules could result in fines of up to 10 percent of a company's annual global revenue, up to 20 percent for repeat offenders or a breakup of the company.
Meta told The Hill it is studying the commission's announcement "and will set out further information in due course as we work to comply with the DMA," while Amazon and Microsoft said they will work with the European Commission as the new rules are implemented.
An Apple spokesperson said the company was "very concerned about the privacy and data security risks the DMA poses for our users."
"Our focus will be on how we mitigate these impacts and continue to deliver the very best products and services to our European customers," they added.
Google directed The Hill to a blog post in which the company's director of legal, Oliver Bethell, said its "aim is to make changes that meet the new requirements while protecting the user experience and providing helpful, innovative and safe products for people in Europe."
"This means consulting with researchers, engineers and product designers to get this balance right," Bethell's post read.
TikTok told The Associated Press it disagrees with the new rules.