In recent years we have observed a clear speedup in devising new regulations aimed at creating a more hospitable digital world. This holds true especially in Europe with the emergence of the Digital Market Act (DMA) proposed in 2020 to increase market contestability and fairness in the digital world economy.
The possible adoption of the DMA by the EU legislation in 2022 will make a considerable difference in the activities of tech giants or the so-called gatekeepers. This will potentially change their business models and create a more balanced economic ground for different companies in the sector.
Although DMA has positive impacts on creating a more balanced playground for tech businesses, it is by no means enough to guarantee a fair digital economy. This is where we, as components of the tech sector, are responsible for pushing this cause even further.
Moreover, the DMA does show to have some shortcomings; most of which come down to a lack of a proper definition of fairness.
Issues Overlooked in the DMA
There are several important points that have been overlooked in DMA. Let’s dissect them and find out why they are important.
- Interoperability for all core platform services
- More detailed self-preferencing prohibition
- Bundling prohibition to ancillary services
Interoperability for core platform services
Interoperability is the ability to exchange information in a way that both parties can understand as the primary premise of the internet.
The subject of interoperability obligations has already been addressed in DMA art.6.1c. However, it only applies to gatekeeper by gatekeeper basis, rather than being universally applicable, particularly to specific core platform services in order for interoperability to be genuinely effective which are keys to ensuring contestability and fairness.
More detailed self-preferencing prohibition
Self-preferencing involves any actions to undertake competitor products or services to favor its own.
Self-preferencing prohibition is addressed in the DMA art.6.1d however, it doesn’t address users’ psychological motivations to prefer one product over another. For instance, we all have the ability to uninstall a default application and use another while we rarely do. These hidden factors help gatekeepers to easily self-preferencing their products.
Bundling prohibition to ancillary services
Bundling is any practice by gatekeepers to sell or offer together specific products or services without a proper justification to route their ways into other markets.
Bundling prohibition is addressed in DMA art.5 and 6 however, it is limited to core services. In particular ancillary services are neglected in this regard. A more general definition of prohibited conduct is needed to address this problem to achieve a more balanced and contestable market.
Zextras Joins Coalition for Competitive Digital Markets
As Zextras has always tried to advocate the interests of all in the digital world, by promoting privacy and open-source projects. we decided to join Coalition For Competitive Digital Markets to continue our journey towards a more effective Digital Markets Act.
This coalition tries to support an open, interoperable, and competitive digital market by proposing several improvements to DMA.
Follow the initiatives or join the coalition yourself here: Coalition For Competitive Digital Markets.