Digital Markets Act: Main Points

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Digital Markets Act: Main Points

By Evangelia Manika

  • New digital markets rules were agreed in record time (March 2022); in less than 2 years after the EU Commission’s Proposal in December 2020.
  • Puts an end to unfair practices by companies that act as gatekeepers in the online platform economy -> Ensuring fair and open digital markets.
  • The DMA covers ten core platform services: (a) online intermediation services; (b) online search engines; (c) online social networking services; (d) video-sharing platform services; (e) number-independent interpersonal communications services; (f) operating systems; (g) web browsers; (h) virtual assistants; (i) cloud computing services; (j) online advertising services.
  • Defines when large online platforms qualify as “gatekeepers” based on objective criteria. Gatekeeper means an undertaking providing core platform services i.e. online social networking services and if (a) it has a significant impact on the EU market; (b) it provides a core platform service which is an important gateway for business users to reach end users; and (c) it enjoys an entrenched and durable position, in its operations, or it is foreseeable that it will enjoy such a position in the near future.
  • Sets important obligations i.e. allow end users to easily un-install pre-installed apps or change default settings on operating systems, virtual assistants or web browsers that steer them to the products and services of the gatekeeper as well as prohibitions for gatekeepers i.e. allow end users to install third party apps or app stores that use or interoperate with the operating system of the gatekeeper.
  • The EU Commission will be the sole enforcer of the rules, in close cooperation with authorities in EU Member States. Penalties and fines of up to 10% of a company’s worldwide turnover, and up to 20% in case of repeated infringements. In the case of systematic infringements, possibility for the EU to impose additional remedies.
  • It represents the regulatory framework that seeks to address the inability of competition law to deal with specific types of behavior of big digital companies, such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft.
  • Entry into force as of 1 November 2022 and it shall apply from 2 May 2023.