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Designated gatekeepers must now comply with all obligations under the Digital Markets Act

BRUSSELS, Belgium – As of March 7, 2024 – Apple, Alphabet, Meta, Amazon, Microsoft and ByteDance, the six gatekeepers designated by the Commission in September 2023, have to fully comply with all obligations in the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The DMA aims to make digital markets in the EU more contestable and fairer. It establishes new rules for 10 defined core platform services, such as search engines, online marketplaces, app stores, online advertising and messaging, and gives new rights to European businesses and end-users.

Business users established in the EU that depend on services offered by the six gatekeepers to reach their customers will enjoy new opportunities as of today. For instance, business users will be able to:

  • Benefit from fair treatment and a level playing field when in competition with gatekeeper services on their platforms.
  • Request interoperability with gatekeepers’ services to offer new innovative services.
  • Sell their apps through alternative channels other than the gatekeeper’s app stores.
  • Access data generated by their activities on gatekeepers’ platforms.
  • Promote offers and conclude contracts with customers outside the gatekeeper’s platform.

End-users will benefit from more choice and innovation in the digital space in Europe. They will be able to:

  • Reclaim their power to choose and not be locked in to gatekeepers’ default choices, for example by choosing alternative app stores and services, to those offered by the gatekeepers.
  • Gain better control over their data by being able to decide whether the gatekeeper can link their accounts, and thereby track and combine their personal data across different services.
  • Easily obtain, transfer and use data from one service or app to another one, allowing for seamless data backups and moving between different services.
  • Use alternative electronic identification or in-app payment services.

Gatekeepers started testing measures to comply with the DMA ahead of the deadline, triggering feedback from third parties. As of today, gatekeepers are required to prove their effective compliance with the DMA and outline the measures undertaken in compliance reports. The public version of these reports is accessible on the Commission’s dedicated DMA webpage. The designated gatekeepers also have to submit to the Commission an independently audited description of any techniques used for profiling consumers, along with a non-confidential version of the report.

The Commission will now carefully analyse the compliance reports and assess whether the implemented measures are effective in achieving the objectives of the relevant obligations under the DMA. The Commission’s assessment will also be based on the input of interested stakeholders, including in the context of the compliance workshops, where gatekeepers are invited to present their solutions.

The Commission will not hesitate to take formal enforcement action, using the entire toolbox at its disposal to fully enforce the DMA.

Should the Commission suspect an infringement of the DMA, it can open proceedings to investigate the potential breach. In case of an infringement, the Commission can impose fines of up to 10 percent of the company’s total worldwide turnover, which can go up to 20 percent in case of repeated infringement. Moreover, in case of systematic infringements, the Commission is also empowered to adopt additional remedies such as obliging a gatekeeper to sell a business or parts of it or banning the gatekeeper from acquisitions of additional services related to the systemic non-compliance.



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