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EU's Digital Markets Act enters into force on November 1

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The European Commission has reminded people that its Digital Markets Act comes into force from November 1. The new rules aim to restrain the powers of so-called gatekeepers so that users and third-party businesses can better interact.

While your mind may jump to app stores when you think about digital gatekeepers, the legislation actually targets are a wider range of services including online search engines, social networking services, certain messaging services, video sharing platform services, virtual assistants, web browsers, cloud computing services, operating systems, online marketplaces, and advertising services.

To help give a clearer understanding on what the legislation means for gatekeepers, the Commission outlined several “do’s” and “don’ts”, the do’s are as follows:

  • allow third parties to inter-operate with the gatekeeper’s own services in certain specific situations
  • allow their business users to access the data that they generate in their use of the gatekeeper’s platform
  • provide companies advertising on their platform with the tools and information necessary for advertisers and publishers to carry out their own independent verification of their advertisements hosted by the gatekeeper
  • allow their business users to promote their offer and conclude contracts with their customers outside the gatekeeper’s platform

Some example of don’ts include:

  • treat services and products offered by the gatekeeper itself more favourably in ranking than similar services or products offered by third parties on the gatekeeper's platform
  • prevent consumers from linking up to businesses outside their platforms
  • prevent users from un-installing any pre-installed software or app if they wish so
  • track end users outside of the gatekeepers' core platform service for the purpose of targeted advertising, without effective consent having been granted

For a company to be affected by the DMA legislation, it will need to meet certain criteria including having a certain annual turnover, having a certain number of users and business users, and be in an entrenched and durable position where they met the first two criteria for the last three years. From tomorrow, it will enter what is known as the implementation phase. Only on May 2 will the rules be applied.

Source: European Commission

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