CCIA Responses To EU Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act Proposals

December 15, 2020

Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Commission presented its Digital Markets Act (DMA) and its Digital Services Act (DSA) proposals earlier today.

The Digital Markets Act seeks to target the core services of so-called digital “gatekeepers” by restructuring their relationships with business users and imposing new terms and obligations. These obligations can be updated, new services targeted, and both structural and behavioural penalties imposed for failure to comply, including fines of up to 10% of a company’s total worldwide annual turnover. 

The Digital Services Act imposes due diligence obligations on online platforms. It also introduces a specific regime for “very large online platforms”, with 45 millions active EU users, which will have to comply with additional obligations such as strict transparency and reporting obligations, yearly audits, disclose the main parameters used in their recommender systems, and appoint a compliance officer. Fines can go up to 6% of annual turnover.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has welcomed the EU’s overall objectives. We look forward to working with EU policy makers to help ensure that the proposals meet the stated goals so that Europeans continue to reap all the benefits of digital products and services.

On the DMA the following can be attributed to Kayvan Hazemi-Jebelli, CCIA Competition Counsel:

“We support efforts to encourage innovation and effective competition. Hopefully, the final legislation will target problematic conduct rather than company size.”

“The DMA would introduce new market-shaping rules governing platforms’ core services. In these dynamically evolving digital markets, the risk of counterproductive legislation is high. We hope the end result will be good for EU consumers, business users, and the broader digital ecosystem.”

“Business users need a fair deal, but tech companies also need the flexibility to improve their products and services for the good of all users. These new rules shouldn’t end up preferencing some business users’ complaints at the expense of consumers and the digital ecosystem as a whole.”

On the DSA the following can be attributed to CCIA Senior Manager, Victoria de Posson: 

“The DSA is an opportunity to create a better functioning EU digital single market, provide clarity on everyone’s responsibilities, and safeguard online rights. The DSA should ensure that Europeans continue to enjoy all the economic and social benefits of digital services.”

“We welcome the Commission’s proposal to allow online intermediaries to take voluntary measures tackling illegal content, products or conduct, without being penalised for such good faith efforts.”

“Any new obligations must be achievable and proportionate to known risks. Creating a specific regime focused at “very large online platforms” risks inadvertently pushing illegal content and products to small digital service providers.”

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