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Gatekeeper Companies Respond To The EU’s Digital Markets Act

Apparently It Will Decrease Security And Limit Choices?

The European Union’s Digital Markets Act comes into effect tomorrow, and those gatekeeper companies that it will apply to are sending out messages of doom to everyone and their dog today.  The companies, including Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft have aired a variety of concerns at this late date, though you will have to decide if they are valid or if they are complaining because their respective monopolies are under threat.

Google is removing Google Flights completely and changing their search algorithms in 20 unspecified ways which they claim will reduce the number of direct hits, instead seeing intermediary sites come up when searching for things like hotels or a specific brand’s product.  One might point out that this already happens, just that the results point to aggregators either owned or favoured by Google.  They can, of course offer malicious compliance and ensure that the top results they offer are of poor quality but that risks users switching to a different search engine.  Alphabet is also being forced to add choices of default apps and setting on Android, including letting third party app stores promote discounted products on the Google Play Store.

Apple is reacting similarly, suggesting that by allowing iPhone users choices as to which wireless payment system they will use and allowing the installation of apps from places other than the Apple Store will lead to a malware apocalypse.  Of course, they don’t mention what these incredibly insecure app stores might be.  Apple also wants users to know that these new apps being allowed by the Digital Markets Act won’t be fully integrated with features such as Family Purchase Sharing and other benefits they offer for staying inside the Apple ecosystem.  Ironically, they are also suggesting these apps from outside the Apple Store might have negative impacts on battery life even though they are likely facing a $2 billion fine for doing what they suggest the outside apps might do to your phone.

Microsoft feels that being able to unlink LinkedIn will degrade users experiences, Meta says that being able to opt out of Messenger, Gaming, and Marketplace will ensure users will miss out on special experiences and deals, and TikTok straight out denies any gatekeeper activity.  Ars Technica has posted a more thorough take on the horrific effects that the Digital Markets Act will have here.

Remember though, that all the DMA does is force these companies to offer choices, if you want the pure Apple iPhone experience you can still have it by opting into everything that is currently mandatory everywhere.

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