X to become DMA-designated gatekeeper?

Exciting news indeed from Brussels. Apparently X has told the European Commission it meets the criteria to be designated as a gatekeeper under the Digital Markets Act 🤩🍿. If so, then we REALLY need the DMA Art. 7 interoperability mandate expanded to social networking services, and aggressive enforcement of those existing provisions which would partly enable this.

I’m curious to know why X has done this, given its current market cap (according to Fidelity) is $12.3bn, about one-seventh the size to be automatically designated a DMA gatekeeper 🤔

No self-designation is required where firms meet the qualitative tests in DMA Art. 3(8), which I’ve long argued X does (as has Germany’s current competition minister):

  1. Very significant scale (if not €75bn market cap) ✅
  2. Certainly 10k+ biz users reaching customers, and 45m+ EU end-users ✅
  3. HUUUUGE network effects ✅
  4. HUGE global scale (by far the biggest “public square” SNS) and Musk has ambitions for scope (his “super-app” plans) ✅
  5. Business user or end user lock-in (we see from the struggle for other SNSes like Mastodon and Bluesky to expand in that market) ✅
  6. A conglomerate corporate structure — just look at Musk’s various interlocking interests and potential integration between them 🤔
  7. Other structural business or service characteristics 🤔

It is slightly difficult to parse the process of designation in Art. 3 where a firm which manifestly does not meet the quantitative criteria in paragraph 2 nonetheless notifies the Commission 🤣 But I think the next step is the Commission may adopt a decision (Art. 16) to open a market investigation under Art. 17 (although it may use its investigative powers before that). It then should “endeavour” to complete the investigation within 12 months, adopting a decision advised by the member states (Art. 50(2)).

Art. 3(8) continues: “In carrying out its assessment…the Commission shall take into account foreseeable developments in relation to the elements listed…including any planned concentrations involving another undertaking providing core platform services or providing any other services…or enabling the collection of data.”

Yes, I am available for DMA market investigation consulting 😉