Billionaire Elon Musk’s X could face EU’s digital dominance crackdown

Elon Musk’s social media platform X could face a raft of new European Union rules that place curbs on the behavior of some of the world’s largest technology firms, after the company told regulators it may meet criteria to fall under the scope of the bloc’s Digital Markets Act. 

The DMA, set to take effect on Thursday, lays out a series of dos and don’ts for the likes of Alphabet Inc.’s Google Search, Apple’s Safari, Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook among others. It could also be applied to Musk’s X, as well as Booking Holdings Inc.’s accommodation platform and ByteDance Ltd., the European Commission said late Friday.  

The DMA is intended to head off competition violations by tech firms before they take root. It will be applied to firms with a significant impact on the EU market, with over 45 million monthly active users and 10,000 yearly business users. 

Under the rules, it will 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, and prohibited from using data they collect from third-party merchants to compete against them, among other prohibitions and obligations. 

The Brussels-based watchdog has 45 working days to decide whether or not to draw X, and ByteDance under the scope of the rules. 

X, ByteDance and Booking didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment outside of working hours.

ByteDance previously lost a court bid in which it tried to halt application of the rules.

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