Name 3 platforms or apps that you can’t live without ? You can’t go through a day on your phone or on the internet without them. To make it simple, they are the “gatekeepers” targeted by the Digital Markets Act (DMA).
Calls for regulating big tech have been heard by the European Commission.
Made public this tuesday, the DMA represents a real milestone for digital platforms regulation. However, is not a magic wand that will solve all the problems occuring because of digital platforms: harmful content, data privacy, cybersecurity… It leaves a lot of questions unanswered. For example, will Google be pointed for its search preference menu making it difficult for search browsers alternatives like Duck Duck Go Go to thrive ? Needless to say this new regulation, embodied by Margrethe Vestager and Thierry Breton will lead to A LOT of interesting investigations. But for the time being, it puts into words a LOT of things.
- First the DMA is built upon GDPR consent principle. No nudging, a user has to explicitly choose.
- Second, it is not competition law. But it is the result from past antitrusts investigations, combined with GDPR mistakes and successes. Unlike GDPR, which actually benefited Google and Facebook , it doesn’t put at risk competition rules.
- Third, it doesn’t rely on member states authority or external organization. No need for the parliament approval. This is going to be real sooner than expected.
What does the DMA concretely means for the future of digital platforms ? Market investigations and aggressive enforcement if companies defined as gatekeepers don’t comply with obligations.
SO GATEKEEPERS WILL BE ACCOUNTABLE TO THE USER. HOW ?
GATEKEEPERS HAVE TOO MUCH PERSONAL DATA BECAUSE THEY ARE EVERYWHERE SO THE DMA WILL PUT FRONTIERS BETWEEN DIFFERENT SERVICES.
Users personal data are stuck into gatekeeper data silos . The DMA requires to avoid leveraging personal data from different services and automatically signing in a user to all the services of the gatekeepers.
GATEKEEPERS ARE ¨THE MASTER” OF THEIR OWN GAME, SO THEY PUT THEMSELF FIRST. THE DMA WON’T LET THAT HAPPEN AGAIN.
Business user can’t compete with the tentacular nature of gatekeepers because they are both players and master of the game. The DMA requires no self preference, no voluntarily restricting business users, no requiring to register to the gatekeeper platform as a condition of access, no sneaky looking into the business user data to compete with it.
AND IF THEY DON’T COMPLY IN MAXIMUM 12 MONTHS THEY WILL HAVE TO PAY THE COST. The fines are up to 10% of annual turnover / 5% of daily turnover for fines and periodic penalty payments respectively.
At the end of the road, you will see the DMA in action during investigations. And the Rita Team is looking forward to this !