EU Digital Markets Act

On December 15, 2021, the European Parliament adopted its position on the proposed law on digital markets (“DMA”), ahead of negotiations with the Council of the European Union.

The DMA introduces new rules for certain basic platform services acting as “gatekeepers” (including search engines, social networks, online advertising services, cloud computing, web sharing services. videos, messaging services, operating systems and online intermediation services) in the digital sector and aims to prevent them from imposing unfair conditions on businesses and consumers and to ensure the openness of digital services important.

The DMA text was approved by Parliament with 642 votes in favor, 8 against and 46 abstentions. Members of the European Parliament (‘Members of Parliament’) made some key amendments to the text, including:

  • Web browsers, virtual assistants and connected television have been added under the definition of “gatekeepers” and therefore, within the scope of DMA;

  • The quantitative threshold for a company to be subject to the DMA has been raised to 8 billion euros in annual turnover in the European Economic Area (“EEA”) and a market capitalization of 80 billion euros. In addition, to be subject to DMA, companies must provide a basic platform service in at least three EU countries and have at least 45 million monthly end users, as well as more than 10,000 business users. ;

  • The latest DMA text includes additional requirements regarding the use of data for targeted or micro-targeted advertising and the interoperability of services. In particular, the text of the DMA provides that a custodian must “for his own commercial purposes and the placement of third-party advertisements in his own services, refrain from combining personal data for the purpose of disseminating targeted advertising or micro-targeted ”. except in the case of “clear, explicit, renewed and informed consent”. In addition, the text emphasizes that the personal data of minors should not be processed for commercial purposes, such as direct marketing, profiling and behavioral advertising;

  • The text introduces restrictions, by the European Commission, on acquisitions in areas falling under the DMA in the event of systematic non-compliance. In addition, the supervisors would also be required to inform the European Commission of any proposed concentration;

  • A violation of the DMA could result in fines of at least 4% and not more than 20% of a company’s total worldwide sales in the previous fiscal year;

  • MEPs also proposed the creation of a ‘high level European group of digital regulators’ to facilitate cooperation and coordination between the European Commission and EU member states.

Next steps

The text approved will be Parliament’s mandate for negotiations with EU governments, which should start in early 2022 (under the French Presidency of the Council).

Read the text approved by Parliament.

The press release is available on the website of the European Parliament.

Copyright © 2021, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. All rights reserved.Revue nationale de droit, volume XI, number 357

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