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TikTok joins Meta in appealing against EU gatekeeper status

A view of the TikTok app logo, in Tokyo, Japan, September 28, 2020
A view of the TikTok app logo, in Tokyo, Japan, September 28, 2020 Copyright Kiichiro Sato/AP Photo, File
Copyright Kiichiro Sato/AP Photo, File
By Reuters
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Under the Digital Markets Act, companies with more than 45 million monthly active users and a market capitalisation of €75 billion are considered gatekeepers providing a core platform service.

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TikTok on Thursday joined Meta in appealing against the "gatekeeper" status under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), an EU law that brings in tougher rules for tech companies and makes it easier for users to move between competing services.

Meta on Wednesday challenged the "gatekeeper" designations for its Messenger and Marketplace platforms but did not appeal against the status for Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The European Union in September picked 22 "gatekeeper" services, run by six tech companies - Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet's Google, Amazon, Meta and ByteDance's TikTok.

While Microsoft, Google and Amazon did not challenge their designations, Apple has yet to comment on its plan. November 16 is the last date to appeal.

"Our appeal is based on the belief that our designation risks undermining the DMA's own stated goal by protecting actual gatekeepers from newer competitors like TikTok," it said.

"Far from being a gatekeeper, our platform, which has been operating in Europe for just over five years, is arguably the most capable challenger to more entrenched platform businesses."

The video-sharing app said it does not meet the law's threshold for revenues generated in the European Economic Area of €7.5 billion per annum.

Under the DMA, companies with more than 45 million monthly active users and a market capitalisation of €75 billion are considered gatekeepers providing a core platform service.

The company said it was designated a gatekeeper based on its parent company, ByteDance's, global market capitalisation that is based primarily on the performance of business lines that do not even operate in Europe.

Last month, China's ByteDance bought back shares from US employees in a deal that valued the company at $223.5 billion (€206 billion).

TikTok, which has over 134 million monthly users, said it is a challenger, not an incumbent, in digital advertising and no market investigation was conducted in relation to its designation by the European Commission.

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