5 Principles for a functioning Digital Economy, fair competition and the Digital Markets Act
The EU Commission published its proposal for a Digital Markets Act (DMA) together with the Digital Services Act on 15 December 2020. The DMA focuses on digital platforms with considerable size and relevance for users´ market power. The DMA aims at implementing a harmonized regulatory framework to ensure fairness and contestability in EU’s digital sector that is intended to sit alongside the existing competition law regime and other related provisions, e.g., DSA, P2B Regulation. Its approach encompasses 18 behavioural obligations for digital platforms designated as “gatekeepers”.
The DMA is overall welcomed as it fills the gaps of existing competition law regimes that have proven too slow and ineffective to tackle the issues triggered by large and dominant platforms. It focuses on structural market features that are vastly common to digital platform models (e.g., significant network effects and economies of scale / scope, data-driven feedback effects) that are likely to jeopardize contestability and fairness in the digital sector. While we believe that a harmonized framework and fairness on digital markets are necessary we see that some elements of the current proposal would benefit from greater clarity.