What Google’s ‘Gatekeeper’ Designation Under EU Rules Entails

3 min read

Google has been officially recognized as a “gatekeeper” within the recently introduced EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) framework.

This designation obligates Google to modify its products to give users more choices and control.

The overarching objective of the DMA is to foster greater competition and curtail the influence wielded by significant technology corporations.

Google has received the official designation of a “gatekeeper” by the European Commission under the newly introduced Digital Markets Act (DMA). This legislation, set to be enforced in March 2024, promotes greater competition within the technology sector.

Notably, Google is part of a cohort of significant tech companies, including Apple, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, and ByteDance, all required to adhere to the regulatory provisions within six months.

The DMA’s primary objective is to curtail these corporations’ dominance in digital markets where they currently enjoy entrenched positions.


What are the implications of this?


To comply with the DMA, Google must make alterations to products such as its search engine, maps, and the app store on Android devices.

To achieve this, the company intends to collaborate with experts to balance meeting the DMA’s fresh demands and maintaining a positive user experience. The emphasis will be on offering consumers greater flexibility in switching between platforms and providing improved tools for managing their data.


The broader influence of the DMA on significant players in the tech industry


The DMA stands out as one of the world’s most rigorous legislative measures designed to address the global market supremacy of leading technology corporations. It seeks to accomplish the following key objectives:

  1. Grant individuals greater autonomy in choosing their default apps.
  2. Enable the establishment of alternative app stores.
  3. Mandate the interoperability of messaging applications.
  4. Prohibit any preferential treatment of a company’s services in rankings.

Furthermore, under these regulations, companies will be required to obtain consent for targeted advertising, while business clients will gain enhanced transparency regarding advertising data.


DMA’s Impact Across Different Digital Sectors


The European Commission has recently unveiled a significant development: 22 services offered by major tech giants such as Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, and ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, have been officially designated as “gatekeepers” within the realm of online services.

This designation comes with the obligation for these companies to ensure that their products are compatible and can seamlessly interact with competing applications. It also empowers users to select which messaging apps they wish to have pre-installed on their devices rather than being constrained to default apps. These companies have been granted a grace period of six months to enact the necessary changes to comply with these novel regulations.

Here is how the DMA is poised to influence various industries.

Advertising in Compliance with the DMA

The DMA mandates that “gatekeepers” must obtain explicit and direct consent before tracking users for advertising objectives.

Furthermore, the DMA affords business clients utilizing online advertising services from companies like Amazon, Google, and Meta the privilege to access data about their advertising campaigns.

App Marketplaces

Apple and Google will be compelled to permit alternative app stores alongside their proprietary ones on both iPhones and Android devices.

Android users can access applications from sources beyond the Google Play Store; however, doing so requires turning off specific security safeguards.

Customizing Default Apps

The DMA is set to empower consumers, granting them the authority to choose their preferred default apps on their devices.

Gatekeeper companies in control of device and app access will be obligated to facilitate a seamless process for users to switch their default app store, web browser, maps application, and other default settings to choices.

E-Commerce, Search Engines, & Social Media in the Face of New Regulations

According to the upcoming regulations, digital platforms such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google will be prohibited from granting preferential treatment or elevating the rankings of their services. These regulations mandate that these companies provide equal standing to their offerings and those of their competitors.

Messaging Services in Light of the DMA

The DMA’s freshly introduced interoperability guidelines will necessitate that messaging platforms as gatekeepers open up and establish connections with other messaging services.

This means that users of gatekeeper platforms, such as WhatsApp or iMessage, will enjoy the freedom to communicate effortlessly with contacts utilizing distinct messaging applications like Signal or Telegram.

Peering into the Future

The tangible effects of the DMA will increasingly manifest as companies implement the required changes to meet compliance by 2024. If navigating this transition remains complex or bewildering, consider exploring our monthly SEO packages, where industry experts can manage the process.

Shilpi Mathur
[email protected]