19 August 22 | Lisboa
Digital Markets Act (DMA)

European Parliament approved the Digital Markets Act in its plenary session

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) on contestable and fair markets in the digital sector was approved by the European Parliament on its plenary session of 5th of July.

This Act sets several narrowly defined criteria for qualifying large online platforms which operate as gatekeepers, striving to ensure that these platforms behave online fairly.

According to these criteria, a company is considered a gatekeeper when:

  • It has a strong economic position, a significant impact on the internal market and it is active in multiple EU countries;
  • It provides an essential intermediate service which forms an important access door for business users to reach end users;
  • It has, or it is likely to have in the foreseeable future, an entrenched and durable position in the market.

The DMA establishes that gatekeeper platforms will have to allow third parties to inter-operate with the gatekeeper’s own services in certain specific situations, meaning that smaller platforms will be able to request dominant messaging platforms to allow their users to exchange messages or to send files between different messaging apps.

Additionally, they will have to allow business users to access the data they generate with their gatekeeper’s platform usage, and allow them to promote offers and celebrate contracts with their clients outside of the platform in question.

This diploma also introduces some prohibitions aiming to prevent unfair practices and to give consumers a greater choice of quality services. Consequently, gatekeepers may no longer:

  • rank their own products and services in a more favourable way than those offered by third parties in the respective gatekeeper’s platform;
  • prevent users from un-installing pre-installed software or apps and from linking up to businesses outside their platforms;
  • process end users’ personal data outside of the gatekeepers’ core platform service for the purpose of targeted advertising, without users’ consent to that effect.

In case of non-compliance by gatekeepers, the Commission can impose fines up to 10% of the company’s total worldwide annual turnover, or up to 20% in the event of repeated infringements.

In case of systematic infringements of the DMA obligations, additional remedies may be imposed on the gatekeepers after a market investigation, including behavioural and structural remedies as a last resort option. 

The DMA must now be formally adopted by the Council of the EU and then published in the Official Journal of the European Union, entering into force 20 days after its publication.



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