The Digital Markets Act (DMA) will blacklist certain practices used by major platforms acting as “gatekeepers” and allow the Commission to conduct market investigations and sanction non-compliant behavior.
The text provisionally approved by Parliament and Council negotiators targets large companies providing so-called “core platform” services most prone to unfair commercial practices, such as social networks or search engines, with a market capitalization of ‘at least 75 billion euros or an annual turnover of 7.5 billion. To be designated as “gatekeepers”, these companies must also provide certain services such as browsers, messaging or social media, which have at least 45 million monthly end users in the EU and 10,000 annual business users.
During an almost 8-hour trilogue (three-way talks between Parliament, Council and Commission), EU lawmakers agreed that the biggest messaging services (such as Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger or iMessage ) will need to open and interact with smaller messengers. platforms, if they so request. Users on small or large platforms could then exchange messages, send files or make video calls through messaging apps, giving them more choices. As regards the interoperability obligation for social networks, the co-legislators agreed that these interoperability provisions will be assessed in the future.
Parliament also ensured that combining personal data for targeted advertising would only be allowed with the explicit consent of the gatekeeper. They also managed to include a requirement allowing users to freely choose their browser, virtual assistants or search engines.
If a gatekeeper breaks the rules, the Commission can impose fines of up to 10% of their total worldwide revenue in the previous fiscal year, and 20% for repeat violations. In case of systematic infringements, the Commission can prohibit them from acquiring other companies for a certain period of time.
After the negotiations, the rapporteur for Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, Andreas Schwab (EPP, DE), said:
“The deal ushers in a new era of technology regulation around the world. The Digital Markets Act puts an end to the ever-growing dominance of Big Tech companies. Now they must show that they also enable fair competition on the Internet. new rules will contribute to enforcing this basic principle.Europe thus ensures more competition, more innovation and more choice for users.
With the Digital Markets Act (DMA), Europe is setting standards for the operation of tomorrow’s digital economy. It will now be up to the European Commission to quickly implement the new rules.
As the European Parliament, we have ensured that the DMA will produce tangible results immediately: consumers will have the choice to use the basic services of big technology companies such as browsers, search engines or messaging, and all without losing control of their data. .
Above all, the law avoids any form of over-regulation for small businesses. App developers will have whole new opportunities, small businesses will have greater access to business-relevant data, and the online advertising market will become fairer.”
Once the legal text has been technically finalized and checked by lawyer-linguists, it will have to be approved by both the Parliament and the Council. Once this process is completed, it will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU and the rules will apply six months after.
Press conference at the European Parliament
On Friday 25 March, from 8.45 a.m. CET, Parliament’s rapporteur Andreas Schwab (EPP, DE), French State Secretary for Digital Transition Cedric O on behalf of the Council, the Executive Vice-President of the Commission Margrethe Vestagerin charge of competition and commissioner for the internal market Thierry Breton will give a joint press conference in the press conference room of the European Parliament.
More details on how to proceed are available in this media advisory.