Online / 5 & 6 February 2022


An update on the Digital Markets Act

The new European rules for online competition

Last year we introduced the reasons and the plans for the new Digital Markets Act of the European Union, regulating online markets to further more competition with the dominant gatekeepers. In 2021, the act was discussed and finally voted by the European Parliament, which expanded many of its provisions and strengthened the new rules. In 2022, the act will be negotiated again with member States and then, possibly, finally approved by the Parliament. In this update we will explain in details what has changed and where we are.

The Digital Markets Act introduces rules for "gatekeeper" digital companies, defining how to recognize them and setting obligations for them to fulfil. These obligations generally affect their business practices, such as the terms and conditions that they impose onto their business users and the consumers; the way they enter new markets and exploit their strength to conquer them; the opportunities that are left for users to choose competing services or move out of the walled gardens. Principles like unbundling and interoperability have been recognized as useful tools to promote competition.

It is still to be understood whether all these obligations will survive the negotiation phases and will be confirmed in the final act. However, discussions are also starting on how some of these new provisions may be implemented, and how to define the details and the technical standards. The talk will present the current situation and solicit feedback and comments from the community.


Photo of Vittorio Bertola Vittorio Bertola