Application of the Digital Services Act and recent developments

Legal Eubdate
16 February 2024

The Digital Services Act or DSA will apply as of 17 February 2024 (Regulation (EU) 2022/2065 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 October 2022 on a Single Market For Digital Services and amending Directive 2000/31/EC, Official Journal L 27 November 2023). You can find the text of the Digital Services Act here.

We have prepared an overview of some recent developments.

Together with the Digital Markets Act, the Digital Services Act forms one of the cornerstones aimed at developing a fair, safe, accountable and open European digital market. 


The DSA applies to:

  • intermediary services (e.g. internet access providers),
  • hosting services (e.g. cloud hosting services, webhosting services and online web shops),
  • (very large) online platforms (VLOPSs – e.g. social media platforms, app stores and online marketplaces), and
  • (very large) online search engines (VLOSEs).

The DSA thus not only introduces new rules for big digital players, but also imposes obligations on intermediary and hosting services, e.g. companies offering internet access services and online web shops.

The DSA contains:

  • new rules, obligations and mechanisms to remove illegal online content faster (e.g. the possibility to “flag” illegal content),
  • increased protection of consumers’ rights (for example by implementing effective safeguards for users, by incorporating certain guarantees (e.g. concerning freedom of the press and freedom of expression, and by introducing a transparency obligation regarding algorithms in the context of online advertising),
  • due diligence obligations for large platforms, and
  • clearer liability exemptions that online intermediaries and platforms may rely upon.

Recent developments

The European Commission is responsible for the designation of the very large online platforms and search engines. The Commission designated Amazon, Zalando, Google Maps and Facebook, among others, as very large online platforms. Both Zalando and Amazon appealed this classification before the General Court. However, Amazon’s appeal was unsuccessful; only the suspension of its obligation to publish the advertising register (Article 39 DSA) was granted. The Zalando case is still pending. Meanwhile the Commission has opened the first formal investigation in the context of the DSA against X (formerly Twitter). The investigation focuses, among other things, on the dissemination of illegal information in the EU and various transparency obligations.

Member States are required to designate one or more competent authorities, including a digital services coordinator responsible for the monitoring, implementation and enforcement of the DSA. The Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) is designated as the digital services coordinator at the federal level. BIPT will fulfil this role in cooperation with the regional media regulators (VMR, CSA and Medienrat). On 9 February 2024, the Council of Ministers approved a preliminary draft act providing for the cooperation agreement between the Federal State, the French Community, the Flemish Community and the German-speaking community.


The DSA entered into force on 16 November 2022, 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal, and will become applicable on 17 February 2024. However, certain provisions apply as from 16 November 2022e.g. the provisions related to the transparency reporting obligations of online platforms, delegated acts and the designation of very large online platforms and very large online search engines.

Eubelius will be happy to assist you if your organisation requires advice and assistance in applying the Digital Services Act.