Apple, other firms say they meet EU 'gatekeeper' definition

Google, Apple, Amazon

Seven tech giants, including Amazon and Apple, have informed the European Union they meet the threshold to come under landmark new rules to curb their market dominance, Brussels said Tuesday.

The firms -- Google parent Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, TikTok owner ByteDance, Facebook umbrella Meta, Microsoft and Samsung -- said they had revenue and user figures big enough to be classed as "gatekeepers", EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton said.

Under the EU's Digital Markets Act, the designation will subject them to tougher regulation aimed at stopping them from seeking to "lock in users in their ecosystem," Breton said.

That involves making messenger services interoperable so users can send messages between different apps, and preventing companies from controlling what apps are pre-installed on phones or directing users to their products.

The legislation tries to ensure smaller players will be able to enter the market without Silicon Valley behemoths stomping on them before they get off the ground.

The EU will make a formal determination by 6 September on which companies will be labelled "gatekeepers".

Europe's push comes amid a broader international drive to rein in the power of big tech.

The 27-nation bloc has also introduced tougher rules aimed at curbing disinformation and hate content on major online platforms.