On September 15, 2020, the European Commission introduced the Digital Market Act (DMA), along with its sister bill, the Digital Services Act (DSA). The piece of legislation is intended to regulate large online platforms as “gatekeepers” to the European digital market for a significant number of users. Its aim is to prevent “gatekeepers” from abusing this power to the detriment of other businesses seeking access to users.
In particular, the DMA prohibits tech giants from:
- ranking their own products and services higher than those of other players (self-preference);
- using personal data collected while providing a service, for another service;
- setting up unfair conditions for professional users;
- preinstalling some types of software;
- requiring app developers to use specific services.
European institutions passed the DMA on July 5, 2022, and the bill came into effect on May 2, 2023, date on which the process to designate the “gatekeepers” was launched. For now, the bill applies to seven companies: Samsung, ByteDance (TikTok’s publisher), and big tech (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft).
The Commission will publish the definitive list on September 6, 2023. Businesses will have six months, until March 6, 2024, to guarantee compliance with the DMA.