EU in touch with Telegram as it nears criterion for EU tech rules

FILE PHOTO: European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 1, 2023.REUTERS/Johanna Geron/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU tech regulators are in touch with messaging app Telegram as it nears a key usage criterion that could see it subject to more stringent requirements under a landmark EU online content legislation, the European Commission said on Tuesday.

The Digital Services Act (DSA) which kicked in last year applies to all online intermediaries and platforms, but with tougher obligations on Big Tech to do more to police illegal and harmful online content on their platforms.

Telegram had 41 million EU users in the six months to February, the company said on its website, below the DSA's 45 million threshold which would see it labelled as a very large online platform (VLOP) required to comply with stricter obligations.

"We are in touch with Telegram," a Commission spokesman said, adding that the EU executive is monitoring developments and liaising with digital service coordinators.

Alphabet's Google, Amazon, Apple, Meta Platforms, Microsoft, AliExpress, Snap, Pinterest, ByteDance's TikTok, Zalando and three porn websites are among 18 online platforms already designated as VLOPs.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by David Holmes)

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