HomeInsightsCouncil of EU gives final approval to Digital Markets Act (DMA)

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The DMA ensures a digital level playing field that establishes clear rights and rules for large online platforms (“gatekeepers”) and makes sure that none of them abuses their position. The Council says that regulating the digital market at EU level will create a fair and competitive digital environment, allowing companies and consumers to benefit from digital opportunities.

Gatekeepers will now have to:

  • ensure that unsubscribing from core platform services is just as easy as subscribing;
  • ensure that the basic functionalities of instant messaging services are interoperable, i.e., enable users to exchange messages, send voice messages or files across messaging apps;
  • give business users access to their marketing or advertising performance data on the platform; and
  • inform the European Commission of their acquisitions and mergers.

Gatekeepers will no longer be able to:

  • rank their own products or services higher than those of others (self-preferencing);
  • pre-install certain apps or software or prevent users from easily un-installing these apps or software;
  • require the most important software (e.g., web browsers) to be installed by default when installing an operating system;
  • prevent developers from using third-party payment platforms for app sales; and
  • reuse private data collected during a service for the purposes of another service.

If a gatekeeper violates the rules in the DMA, it risks a fine of up to 10% of its total worldwide turnover. For a repeat offence, a fine of up to 20% of its worldwide turnover may be imposed.

If a gatekeeper systematically fails to comply with the DMA, i.e., it violates the rules at least three times in eight years, the European Commission can open a market investigation and, if necessary, impose behavioural or structural remedies.

If a large online platform is identified as a gatekeeper, it will have to comply with the rules of the DMA within six months from publication in the Official Journal.

To read the Council’s press release in full, click here.