Apple’s App Store, Safari browser, and iOS operating system have officially been designated as “gatekeepers” in the European Union, an official classification that requires adherence to strict new regulations, reports Bloomberg.
However, the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, said it needed more time to investigate whether Microsoft’s Bing, Edge and Advertising services and Apple’s iMessage should be exempt from the new rules of the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The Commission is also considering whether iPadOS should be included in the regulation.
As noted by Bloomberg, under the new regulations, it will l 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.
According to the Financial Times, six firms ranging from Apple to TikTok, and some 20 of their services, will be affected by the DMA. Each firm will be required to make their services interoperable with rivals, and also to link to their competitors.
The EU is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its policies aim “to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries, and regional development.”