Alphabet Inc’s Google, Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc, Twitter, and Apple face stricter EU online content rules based on monthly user numbers published by the companies, which Federation exceeds the limit for large online platforms.
The new rules, known as the Digital Services Act (DSA), label companies with more than 45 million users as very large online platforms and are subject to obligations such as risk management and external and independent auditing. They are also required to share data with authorities and researchers and adopt a code of conduct. The European Commission gave online platforms and search engines until 17 February to publish their monthly active users. Very large online platforms have four months to comply with the rules or risk fines.
Twitter said it has 100.9 million average monthly users in the EU, based on an estimation of the last 45 days. Alphabet provided one set of numbers based on users’ accounts and another set based on signed-out recipients, saying users can access its services whether they sign in to an account or are signed out. It said the average monthly number of signed-in users totaled 278.6 million on Google Maps, 274.6 million on Google Play, 332 million on Google Search, 74.9 million on Shopping, and 401.7 million on YouTube.
Apple said that its App Store built just for its iPhones, which have more than 45 million monthly users, qualifies as a very large online platform. But the same rules will also apply to the App Store for iPads, Mac computers, the Apple Watch, and TVs.
“Apple intends, on an entirely voluntary basis, to align each of the existing versions of the App Store (including those that do not currently meet the VLOP designation threshold) with the existing DSA requirements for VLOPs because the goals of the DSA align with Apple’s goals to protect consumers from illegal content,” it said in a statement. EBay said it is below the EU user threshold.
Earlier this week, Meta Platforms said it had 255 million average monthly active users on Facebook in the European Union and about 250 million average monthly active users on Instagram in the last six months of 2022.