The European Commission will subject the internet ‘gatekeepers’ to the new DMA

September 7, 2023 by
Frank Calviño

The European Commission has published a list of the leading digital global companies they call ‘internet gatekeepers’ and will subject them to the new DMA (Digital Markets Act) rules. 

The new DMA aims to fight against anti-competitive practices. In total, they have presented a list of six "service gatekeepers" who will now have six months to present a study detailing the measures they will take to ensure compliance with the new regulations.

The adoption of these new rules in July 2022 aims to streamline the process of sanctioning large technology platforms, avoiding the lengthy procedures previously seen. The DMA is now responsible for identifying and sanctioning anti-competitive behavior previously identified in various sectors.

The European Union has designated gatekeepers according to the following definition: "they provide an important gateway between businesses and consumers about the platform's core services." In addition, they meet requirements such as being used by more than 45 million Europeans, having at least 10,000 professional customers, being valued at more than €75 billion, or having earned more than €7.5 billion in Europe in the last three years.

Who are the ‘gatekeepers’ subjected to the new DMA? 

The gatekeepers are mainly large technology companies, including Google, Apple, Facebook, ByteDance, Amazon and Microsoft.

"With today's designation, we are finally curbing the economic power of six gatekeepers, giving consumers more choice and creating new opportunities for smaller innovative technology companies, thanks, for example, to interoperability, data transfer, real-time data portability, and fairness. It is high time for Europe to set the rules of the game from the outset to ensure that digital markets are fair and open," said Thierry Breton, Internal Market Commissioner.

These platforms will have to comply with obligations such as:

  • Provide businesses advertising on their platform with the tools and information necessary for advertisers and publishers to perform the independent verification of their ads hosted on the gatekeeper.
  • Allow its business users (companies or vendors using the platform) to promote their offers and conclude contracts with their customers outside the gatekeeper platform.
  • Allow your business users (companies or vendors using the platform) to access the data they generate using the gatekeeper platform.

Google and Amazon answer

In Alphabet's case, they have published a post on the Google blog showing that they are working on complying with the regulation. "In our case, for example, we will need to continue to deepen the work we have done to provide consumers with information and opportunities to switch platforms or manage their data (as is the case with Google Takeout or Google Transparency Reports). We will also need to remind users of the options available (as is the case with the choice screens we already offer in Europe)" they share in the blog. 

Amazon, on the other hand, has filed an action against the EU courts, as they consider that this law faces risks associated with companies that have advertising as their main source of income. The US marketplace argues that the vast majority of its revenue comes from its retail business. Something that has also been done by the German online retailer Zalando, which considers that it should not be qualified as a "large platform",

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