EU reaches agreement on Digital Markets Act

Last Thursday, 24 March 2022, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached a compromise regarding the text for the new Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on contestable and fair markets in the digital sector (Digital Markets Act or DMA). You can find the text of the Commission proposal here.

Together with the Digital Services Act, the Digital Markets Act forms one of the legislative proposals of the European Commission aimed at developing a fair, safe, accountable and open European digital market. The DMA introduces new rules for large online platforms acting as “gatekeepers”, i.e. large systemic online platforms with a dominant market position which serve as an intermediary connecting businesses and consumers for certain digital services (e.g. search engines, social networks, intermediation services and operating systems).

The DMA lays down new rules, obligations and prohibitions for gatekeepers in order to create a fair online market, safeguard competition online and protect consumers. The rules also include provisions on the usage, combination and portability of data. In addition, the DMA contains new sanction mechanisms for the Commission, including the possibility of imposing substantial fines in case of non-compliance with the DMA.

The Commission proposal was published in December 2020 and after a little more than a year, a compromise has been found at EU level after trilogue negotiations. It is now up to the European Parliament and the Council to ratify the final text, which is expected to be published soon. The aim is to have the Digital Markets Act entering into force at the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023.