The Digital Markets Аct is in force

On 01/11/2022 one of the largest European legislative initiatives in the field of competition law and digital services entered into force – the so-called Digital Markets Act (or “DMA” for short).

The main goal of the newly adopted legislation is to achieve a freer, fairer and more equal digital market within the European Union by creating more opportunities for small market players and preventing anti-competitive behavior by tech giants. A number of new obligations are introduced for the so-called “gatekeepers” – companies with significant influence within digital markets that act as intermediaries between businesses and consumers, including online trading platforms, app stores, search engines, social networks, video sharing platforms, cloud and advertising services and others.

Large online platforms meeting the “gatekeeper” criteria will have to adjust their commercial activities and discontinue many of the practices on which their previous business model was based, e.g. to allow the installation of applications from external sources, to provide users with the ability to remove pre-installed applications, to ensure equal advertising and treatment of their own- and of third-party products, and not to limit access to payment services external to their platform. Violations of the new regulations are subject to significant sanctions, reaching up to 20% of the company’s global turnover or resulting in forced structural changes of the sanctioned company.

The Digital Markets Act will start to be actively applied from 02/05/2023, and the obligations and sanctions will take effect from March 2024.

More information on the subject can be accessed here.

Author: Hristo Koparanow, Kristian Milev