EU designates Booking as a gatekeeper under DMA

The Digital Markets Act aims to regulate large tech firms’ market dominance, imposing stricter obligations for content moderation, fair competition, and consumer choice.

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The European Commission announced on Monday that it has classified Booking as a ‘gatekeeper’ under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), signifying its strong market influence. At the same time, the Commission has initiated a market investigation into the regulatory status of social media network X to delve deeper into its market dominance. Despite this, according to the EU, online advertising services such as X Ads and TikTok Ads have not been designated as gatekeepers.

In March, the European Commission identified Elon Musk’s X, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, and as potential candidates for gatekeeper status, subjecting them to stringent tech regulations. While Booking has been officially designated as a gatekeeper, a market investigation has been initiated to address X’s opposition to such a classification. ByteDance was previously labelled as a gatekeeper in July last year, but TikTok has contested this designation at the EU’s second-highest court.

Why does it matter?

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) represents a significant step towards regulating the market dominance of large tech companies. It imposes stricter obligations on these firms, compelling them to moderate content, ensure fair competition, and facilitate consumer choice by making it easier to switch between services. As the EU continues to navigate the complexities of digital market regulation, the classification of gatekeepers and subsequent investigations serve as crucial measures to promote fair competition and protect consumers’ interests in the digital sphere.