The European Union has announced that their new regulations to reform big tech companies, the Digital Markets Act (DMA), should come into force early next year. 

“The DMA will enter into force next spring and we are getting ready for enforcement as soon as the first notifications come in,” commission executive vice president Margrethe Vestager stated last week at the International Competition Network conference, via TechCrunch

Once the Digital Markets Act is being properly enforced, we should be seeing the European Union take major action against big tech companies that are deemed to be “gatekeepers” to the internet and technology in today’s society. 

While the DMA has not yet stated which companies will be designated as “gatekeepers” there is a list of criteria that companies must meet in order to earn that unfortunate title. The criteria states that gatekeepers must have at least a market capitalization of €75BN, or €7.5BN annual turnover, and 45 million end-users in the EU.

As you might expect, these criteria easily fit some of the world’s biggest tech companies such as Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft, and Amazon, so expect these companies to be threatened with fines of “up to 10 percent of its total worldwide turnover in the preceding financial year” if they’re found to be violating the DMA’s rules. 

Despite laying out the criteria to define gatekeepers and seemingly having all their ducks in a row, the DMA may still take a substantial amount of time before it can be properly effective, as gatekeepers will have three months to declare their status, and then a two-month wait for the EU to confirm that title. This means that we may not see the DMA being enforced until late 2023.

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