Who are the gatekeepers?
The Digital Markets Act (DMA) establishes a set of narrowly defined objective criteria for qualifying a large online platform as a so-called “gatekeeper”. This allows the DMA to remain well targeted to the problem that it aims to tackle as regards large, systemic online platforms.
These criteria will be met if a company:
- has a strong economic position, significant impact on the internal market and is active in multiple EU countries
- has a strong intermediation position, meaning that it links a large user base to a large number of businesses
- has (or is about to have) an entrenched and durable position in the market, meaning that it is stable over time if the company met the two criteria above in each of the last three financial years
What are the benefits of the Digital Markets Act?
What does this mean for gatekeepers?
The new rules will establish obligations for gatekeepers, “do’s” and “don’ts” they must comply with in their daily operations.
Examples of the “do’s” - Gatekeeper platforms will have to:
|allow third parties to inter-operate with the gatekeeper’s own services in certain specific situations|
|allow their business users to access the data that they generate in their use of the gatekeeper’s platform|
|provide companies advertising on their platform with the tools and information necessary for advertisers and publishers to carry out their own independent verification of their advertisements hosted by the gatekeeper|
|allow their business users to promote their offer and conclude contracts with their customers outside the gatekeeper’s platform|
Example of the “don’ts” - Gatekeeper platforms may no longer:
|treat services and products offered by the gatekeeper itself more favourably in ranking than similar services or products offered by third parties on the gatekeeper's platform|
|prevent consumers from linking up to businesses outside their platforms|
|prevent users from un-installing any pre-installed software or app if they wish so|
|track end users outside of the gatekeepers' core platform service for the purpose of targeted advertising, without effective consent having been granted|
How will the Commission ensure that the tool keeps up with the fast evolving digital sector?
To ensure that the new gatekeeper rules keep up with the fast pace of digital markets, the Commission will carry out market investigations. These will allow the Commission to:
- qualify companies as gatekeepers
- update dynamically the obligations for gatekeepers when necessary
- design remedies to tackle systematic infringements of the Digital Markets Act rules
What will be the consequences of non-compliance?
|Fines of up to 10% of the company’s total worldwide annual turnover, or up to 20% in the event of repeated infringements||Periodic penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily turnover||In case of systematic infringements of the DMA obligations by gatekeepers, additional remedies may be imposed on the gatekeepers after a market investigation. Such remedies will need to be proportionate to the offence committed. If necessary and as a last resort option, non-financial remedies can be imposed. These can include behavioural and structural remedies, e.g. the divestiture of (parts of) a business.|
New rules in a nutshell
What are the next steps?
Once it has been formally adopted, the Digital Market Act Regulation will be directly applicable across the EU and will apply six months after entry into force.