TikTok and Facebook owner Meta have launched legal challenges against new European Union rules designed to counter the dominance of digital giants and make competition fairer by giving consumers greater choice.
TikTok said in a blog post Thursday that it is appealing its classification as a “gatekeeper” under the Digital Markets Act as it claims to fill the role of a new social media competitor taking on entrenched players.
Meta said the day before that it disagrees with the 27-nation bloc’s decision to include its Marketplace and Messenger as access services under the new rules and is asking for “clarification on specific questions of law.”
The Digital Markets Law, which will come into effect in March, includes a list of rules for big tech companies aimed at giving users greater choice and threats of heavy penalties for non-compliance.
Calling TikTok a gatekeeper defeats the purpose of the law by “protecting the true gatekeepers from new competitors like TikTok,” the company said, adding that the video publishing app “arguably is the most capable challenger” to his biggest rivals on social media.
Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft were also classified as gatekeepers along with Meta and ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company. They provide 22 “core platform services”—such as Chrome and Safari browsers, WhatsApp messaging, and Google Maps—that act as “important gateways between businesses and consumers.”
Meta does not dispute its designation as a gatekeeper, but the company believes the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, was wrong to designate Marketplace and Messenger as core platform services.
The appeal “does not alter or reduce our firm commitment to comply with the LMD, and we will continue to engage constructively with the European Commission to prepare for compliance,” Meta wrote.