In September, the European Union will approve internet platforms subject to the new Digital Markets Act (DMA) restrictions and receive “gatekeeper” status. However, the provisions of the new competition regime will be introduced in advance – companies must now align their business accordingly.
Some big names like Apple, Amazon, Google, Meta* and Microsoft has clearly achieved gatekeeper status under the DMA. The law provides a fixed set of obligations for so-called “gatekeepers” who meet certain cumulative criteria: First, they must operate at least one “essential platform service” (this includes search engines, social networks, app stores, certain exchange services). messaging, virtual assistants, web browsers, operating systems and online intermediation services).
Second, they must be large enough and established in the market to be subject to the regime. This means that the annual income in the European Economic Area must be at least €7.5 billion in each of the last three financial years and have an average market capitalization or “equivalent fair market value” of at least €75 billion in the last financial year, and the provision of services to the Main platform in at least three EU Member States.
Examples of DMA obligations are: restrictions on the use of third-party data by gateway platforms and requirements to provide data to third parties about the use of their applications; prohibitions on self-use of links and imposition of consumer applications or preferences; Compatibility requirements, including for messenger gateway services; require app stores not to block the ability of third-party downloads and not require developers to use their own services (e.g. payment systems); a ban on tracking users for targeted advertising without their consent, as well as other conditions.
Gatekeepers must also”an important gateway for business users to end users“. According to the EU Commission, a DMA exists when the company in question provides services for a main platform with over 45 million monthly active EU end-users and more than 10,000 annual active business users in the EU in the last financial year.
EU lawmakers recently identified 19 very large online platforms (VLOPs) that fall under DMA’s sister regulation, the Digital Services Act (DSA), which rolls back e-commerce governance rules for large companies. It is likely that some of the tech giants already designated as VLOPs under the DSA will also be impacted by the DMA, meaning they will have additional “specific obligations” on top of the DSA’s algorithmic transparency requirements.
The new rules clearly aim to ensure digital markets remain “open and competitive” by imposing firm conditions of conduct on businesses. The big change is that the terms are enforced in advance – the idea is to actively regulate digital giants, which have the power to set rules for other companies that need access to their core services, and force the gatekeepers to use the Keeping an eye on competition and consumer needs. .
However, Europe-wide regulation will take some time. There are also some concerns about how willing the Commission is to show its courage and assume such an oversight role by regulating some of the world’s most powerful platforms.
* It is included in the list of public associations and religious organizations for which the court made a final decision to liquidate or ban activities on the grounds provided for in Federal Law No. 114-FZ of July 25. 2002 “On Countering Extremist Activities”.