Meta, TikTok Challenge EU’s Crackdown On Big Tech Dominance
Meta Platforms Inc. has formally challenged the European Union’s latest clampdown on the dominance of Big Tech firms, paving the way for a fresh legal fight between regulators and the social media powerhouse.
(Bloomberg) -- The owners of Facebook and TikTok have formally challenged the European Union’s latest clampdown on the dominance of Big Tech firms, paving the way for a fresh legal fight between regulators and the social media powerhouses.
Meta Platforms Inc. argued that the European Commission was wrong to put Facebook’s Marketplace and Messenger services within the scope of the bloc’s Digital Markets Act, which is designed to rein in market abuse. Its appeal filed on Wednesday sets up a battle in the courts with EU lawyers.
“This appeal seeks clarification on specific points of law regarding the designations” under the DMA, a Meta spokesperson said on Wednesday. “It does not alter or detract from our firm commitment to complying with the DMA.”
Meanwhile, lawyers for Chinese firm ByteDance Ltd. argued its hugely popular video—sharing platform TikTok also shouldn’t be hit by the rules. In a blog post on Thursday, the company said it’s “the most capable challenger” to the industry’s biggest players.
A commission spokesperson said that the EU “respects companies’ right to appeal and will defend its decisions in court.”
The DMA — which take full effect in March — will impose a rigid regime on firms whose practices have previously resulted in billions of euros in fines and tax orders from the EU watchdog. It will be illegal for certain platforms to favor their own services over those of rivals. They’ll be barred from combining personal data across their different services, prohibited from using data they collect from third-party merchants to compete against them, and will have to allow users to download apps from rival platforms.
Europe’s Two-Track Approach to Policing Big Tech: QuickTake
For Menlo Park, California-based Meta, the DMA means it must obtain users’ permission before sharing their data between Marketplace and other company-owned services. It will also require Messenger to work with rival online messaging platforms, once the obligations become enforceable next March.
Alphabet Inc.’s Google Search, Apple Inc.’s Safari and Amazon.com Inc.’s marketplace are among the 22 platforms covered by the DMA. Apple is also set to file an appeal against the inclusion of some of its services.
Meta is already embroiled in a dispute with the EU after the European Commission in December complained that the California-based company crushed competition from classified ad rivals by tying the Facebook Marketplace to its massive social network. Meta, which is fighting the accusations in the EU, has settled a similar case launched by the UK’s competition watchdog.
--With assistance from Stephanie Bodoni.
(Update with Commission response in fifth paragraph.)
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