LONDON (AP) — TikTok and Facebook owner Meta are filing legal challenges against new European Union rules designed to counter the dominance of digital giants and make online competition fairer by giving consumers more choice.
TikTok said in a blog post Thursday that it’s appealing being classified as an online “gatekeeper” by the Digital Markets Act, arguing that it’s playing the role of a new competitor in social media that is taking on entrenched players.
Meta said a day earlier that it disagrees with the 27-nation bloc’s decision to include its Marketplace and Messenger as gateway services under the new rules, adding that it is seeking “clarification on specific points of law.”
The Digital Markets Act will take effect by March, with a list of dos and don’ts for big tech companies aimed at giving users more choices and threatening big penalties if they don’t comply.
Labeling TikTok a gatekeeper undermines the DMA’s goal by “protecting actual gatekeepers from newer competitors like TikTok,” the company said, adding that the video-sharing app is “arguably the most capable challenger” to bigger social media rivals.
Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft also were given the gatekeeper label in September, along with TikTok parent company ByteDance and Meta. That’s because they provide 22 “core platform services” — such as Chrome and Safari browsers, WhatsApp messaging and Google Maps — that act as gateways between businesses and consumers.
Meta is not arguing with being designated a gatekeeper, but the company thinks the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, was wrong to specifically single out Marketplace and Messenger as core platform services.
The appeal “does not alter or detract from our firm commitment to complying with the DMA, and we will continue to work constructively with the European Commission to prepare for compliance,” Meta said.