What is the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and what companies does it affect?

Digital Europe

The European Commission is completely changing the rules on digital services in the European Union. In this regard, it is preparing a comprehensive package of implementing measures on large Internet companies serving European citizens.

The WFD will enter into force in March 2024.

The change in legislation is mainly focused on two new texts: the Digital Services Act (DSA), which we analyzed in another article, and the Digital Markets Act (DMA), or Ley de Mercados Digitales in Spanish.

Companies will have to adapt to this new regulatory framework that modifies the way they relate to European users and how they treat their personal information.

What is the DMA – Digital Markets Act.

The aim of this new legislation, which will come into force in March 2024, is to ensure fairness and contestability of markets in the digital sector for all companies operating in the European Union.

In other words, it is a rule that will pursue and prohibit anti-competitive practices and monopolies of large platforms that have a dominant position in the EU territory.

The DMA establishes a number of “Gatekeepers”, which are the companies considered as “gateways to the digital world”. They fulfill the role of “gatekeepers” and are of such a large size that their presence in the market, according to the EU, prevents competition.

In fact, the regulation seeks to put an end to the economic imbalances caused by these companies and the unfair practices they may engage in.

Which companies are the GateKeepers of the DMA.

The WFD establishes a number of criteria for considering the companies that will have to implement the regulation. These are as follows:

-That they have a turnover of more than €7.5 billion in the EU or a market capitalization of €75 billion.

-That offer service to more than 45 million European users per month, or more than 10,000 companies per year.

As of September 5, 2023, the European Union has communicated who will be the companies considered gatekeepers. They are Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta and Microsoft (all from the United States) and ByteDance, from China. This implies that the DMA will affect 22 services (provided by these companies) and they will be:

Social Networks: TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn.

Instant Messaging Services: WhatsApp, Messenger

Brokerage Services: Google Maps, Google Play, Google Shopping, Amazon Marketplace, Apple App Store, Meta Marketplace.

Video platform: YouTube

Advertising services: Google, Amazon, Meta

Web browsers: Chrome, Safari

Search engines: Google Search

Operating systems: Android, iOS, Windows

Left out of the list are Bing (Microsoft’s search engine), the Microsoft Edge browser or Apple’s messaging service, iMessage. These or other services could be included in the list at a later date.

Gatekeepers’ Obligations.

The standard establishes a number of rules for GateKeepers:

-They may not rank their services and products favorably against others.

-They may not use users’ personal data for their own services.

Failure to comply with these and the other regulations provided for in the WFD, fines are foreseen that may reach 10% of their overall turnover or even 20% in case of continued recidivism.

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