On 7th  of March, The European Commission(“Commission”) has announced that Apple, Alphabet, Meta, Amazon, Microsoft and ByteDance, the previously designated gatekeepers on 5th  of September,  have to fully comply with all obligations in the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

As it is known, The DMA, in conjunction with the Digital Services Act, constitutes a unified framework of regulations across the entire EU, designed to cultivate a safer digital environment safeguarding users’ fundamental right and to foster fair competition among businesses. Specifically, DMA, focuses on fostering competitive and fair markets within the digital sector. It mainly governs gatekeepers, defined as major digital platforms serving as crucial intermediaries between business entities and consumers, whose influential position can potentially create bottlenecks within the digital economy.

Together with six gatekeepers’ compliance with these obligations, both business users and end-users will be able to benefit on different ends.  When it comes to business users that are operating in EU which are using services offered by the six gatekeepers to reach their customers, they will be able to do the followings:

  • Enjoy equitable treatment and equal opportunities when competing with gatekeeper services on their platforms.
  • Request interoperability with gatekeepers' services to offer new innovative services.
  • Market their applications through avenues other than the gatekeeper's app stores.
  • Obtain access to the data produced by their interactions on gatekeepers' platforms.
  • Promote offers and finalize agreements with customers independently of the gatekeeper's platform.

On the other hand, end-users will benefit from more choice and innovation in the digital space in Europe by:

  • Asserting their freedom to opt for alternatives and avoid being bound to the default selections imposed by gatekeepers, such as opting for different app stores and services outside the gatekeepers' offerings.
  • Exercising greater authority over their data by having the ability to determine whether gatekeepers can connect their accounts, thereby monitoring and combine their personal data across various services.
  • Effortlessly acquiring, transferring, and utilizing data from one service or application to another, facilitating smooth data backups and transitions between different services.
  • Using alternative electronic identification or in-app payment services.

As of 7th of March, gatekeepers are required to prove their effective compliance with the DMA and outline the measures undertaken in compliance reports( which are available on Commission’s dedicated DMA webpage). They should also have provided an  independently audited description of any techniques used for profiling consumers, along with a non-confidential version of the report on 7th of March. However, on March 25, The European Commission has initiated a non-compliance investigation into tech behemoths Apple, Meta, Amazon, and Alphabet, under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). This move, announced on March 25, comes as the Commission suspects that these companies’ measures may not effectively comply with their obligations under the DMA.

What the Commission will do from now on is in the event of a violation, the Commission has the authority to impose fines of up to 10% of the undertakings’ global turnover, with potential escalation to 20% for repeated infringements. Additionally, in cases of systematic breaches, the Commission holds the power to implement further remedies, including mandating a gatekeeper to divest certain business operations or prohibiting the acquisition of additional services associated with the systemic non-compliance.

( European Commission – 07.03.2024)



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