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A legislative package on digital markets (Digital Markets Act – DMA): for fair and open digital markets

Some large online platforms act as gatekeepers in the digital markets. The Digital Markets Act ensures that these platforms are fair. Together with the Digital Services Act, it is one of the core elements of the EU digital strategy.

The Digital Markets Act lays down a series of narrowly defined objective criteria for the classification of a large online platform as a “gatekeeper”. Thus, the law remains focused on the problem that is being addressed concerning large, systemic online platforms.

A company is considered a gatekeeper when it fulfills these criteria:

  • has a strong economic position with a significant impact on the internal market and is active in several EU countries,
  • has a strong intermediary position, meaning it connects a large user base with a large number of companies,
  • has or will soon have a stable and permanent or long-term market position. 

 

Business users who rely on gatekeepers to offer their services in the Digital Single Market can look forward to a fairer business environment. There are new opportunities for innovators and technology start-ups to compete and innovate in the environment of online platforms, without having to adhere to unfair conditions that slow down their development. Consumers can choose between more and better services and are more likely to switch providers while having direct access to services and fair prices. The gatekeepers have every opportunity to be innovative and offer new services. The only limitation that is added is that they cannot use their market dominance against other commercial users and customers, which are dependent on them, in order to obtain an unreasonable advantage.

The changes mean obligations for gatekeepers – they have to abide by prohibitions and requirements in everyday business.

For example, gatekeepers will have to:

allow third parties to work together with their own services in certain situations,

enable their commercial users to access the data they generate when using the Gatekeeper platform,

provide the companies that advertise on their platform with the tools and information they need to conduct their own independent review of their advertising on the Gatekeeper platform,

enable their commercial users to advertise their offer and conclude contracts with their customers outside of the Gatekeeper platform.

Gatekeeper platforms will no longer be allowed to:

to prefer services and products that the gatekeeper itself offers over similar services or products that are offered by third parties on the gatekeeper’s platform,

prevent consumers from approaching companies outside their platforms,

prevent users from uninstalling pre-installed software or apps if they decide so.