By Supantha Mukherjee and Foo Yun Chee
STOCKHOLM/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Meta on Wednesday appealed against “gatekeeper” designations for its Messenger and Marketplace platforms, the first Big Tech company to challenge new European Union rules setting out dos and don’ts for the online services.
As part of its latest crackdown on Big Tech, the EU in September picked 22 “gatekeeper” services, run by six of the world’s biggest tech companies, to face new rules under the Digital Markets Act (DMA).
Meta’s Facebook (NASDAQ: META), Instagram, Marketplace, and WhatsApp qualified as gatekeepers under the DMA, which was designed to level the playing field between Big Tech companies and smaller competitors.
“This appeal seeks clarification on specific points of law regarding the designations of Messenger and Marketplace under the DMA,” a spokesman said.
“It 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.”
The company said it would not challenge the designation for Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Marketplace is a consumer to consumer service so it cannot fall within the definition of an online intermediation service and Messenger is simply a chat functionality of Facebook, the company said.
The DMA requires Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL)’s Google, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Meta and ByteDance’s TikTok to allow third-party apps or app stores on their platforms and to make it easier for users to switch from default apps to rivals.
EU antitrust regulators are investigating whether Microsoft’s Bing and Apple’s iMessage should comply with the new rules.
Microsoft and Google have said they will not challenge DMA designations, while sources expect TikTok to file a challenge.