Digital markets act

Briefing 06-05-2021

In December 2020, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation on contestable and fair markets in the digital sector, otherwise referred to as the digital markets act (DMA). The proposed legislation lays down harmonised rules aimed at regulating the behaviour of digital platforms acting as gatekeepers between business users and their customers in the European Union (EU). This approach entails a shift from ex-post anti-trust intervention to ex-ante regulation, and would enshrine within EU law a set of ex-ante rules that would radically change how large digital platforms are allowed to operate in the EU. While there seems to be strong support for this approach in the EU, a number of issues regarding the designation of gatekeepers, the design of ex-ante obligations and prohibitions, and enforcement mechanisms have already been raised. As the EU lawmakers, Parliament and Council will now assess whether the Commission's proposal is an appropriate response to the challenges identified and work towards defining their positions on the proposal. First edition. 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.