EU Institutions Announce Political Agreement On Proposed Rules For ‘Gatekeeper’ Digital Platforms – Antitrust, EU Competition



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The need for rules regulating Big Tech and the extent of those
rules continues to be debated across the globe.

In the EU last month, new legislation imposing requirements on
online platforms that act as ‘gatekeepers’ ‒ the
Digital Markets Act (DMA) ‒ took a significant step towards
becoming reality. The exact scope and application of the DMA has
been heavily negotiated since the European Commission (EC)’s
original December 2020 proposal. But the Council of the EU and the
European Parliament have now reached a provisional political
agreement on rules that will impose significant obligations on
those defined as gatekeepers. These could become applicable in
early 2023.

Our alert detailsthe reported changes to the
draft DMA including amended ‘gatekeeper’ thresholds, an SME
carve-out, provision for ’emerging gatekeepers’ to be in
scope, amended core obligations and restrictions and harsher
sanctions for non-compliance. Significantly, the EC has maintained
its position as sole enforcer of the DMA as well as an ability to
use a market investigation tool.

Our alert also considers how the DMA will interact with
national-level digital market regulation, antitrust law and merger
control rules.

Executive Vice-President Vestager hopes the DMA will
“inspire all over the planet”. Businesses will certainly
do well to keep abreast of what could become a ‘patchwork’
of regulatory approaches as other jurisdictions finalise their own
proposals.

Originally published 4 May, 2022

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