Summary The European Parliament has approved two new regulations, the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act, which aim to regulate online platforms and limit the power of dominant digital companies. The Digital Services Act updates the 20-year-old E-Commerce Directive and introduces new rules for online platforms, while the Digital Markets Act introduces a code of conduct for large digital companies and imposes stricter rules on central online platforms such as search engines and social media networks. Both acts were approved in 2022 and will come into effect in 2023 and 2024.
On November 16th, 2022, the Digital Service Act (DSA) came into force in the European Union, marking a significant step towards regulating the online world. The DSA updates the 20-year-old E-Commerce Directive and introduces a set of rules to govern the conduct of online platforms, including social media, marketplaces, and search engines. The act seeks to create a more transparent, predictable, and trustworthy online environment, while also ensuring the smooth functioning of the internal market for digital services.
The DSA introduces a range of new obligations for digital services, including a requirement for them to take measures to prevent the dissemination of illegal content on their platforms. Additionally, very large online platforms will have to comply with additional due diligence requirements to ensure that they are not facilitating the spread of harmful content. The act also seeks to promote online competition by ensuring that smaller players can compete on a level playing field.
In addition to the DSA, the EU has also introduced the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which complements competition law and aims to curb the power of dominant digital companies. The act imposes a code of conduct on large digital companies and imposes stricter rules on online platforms that hold a dominant position in the market. These platforms, such as search engines, social networks, and online marketplaces, will no longer be allowed to prioritize their own products and services over those of their competitors.
The DMA aims to ensure that online competition is fair and open, and that digital platforms do not engage in anti-competitive practices. The act seeks to increase consumer choice by preventing dominant digital companies from using their power to limit the choices available to consumers. The DMA also introduces new rules on data access and interoperability, which will make it easier for new players to enter the market and compete with established incumbents.
The DSA and DMA represent a significant step towards creating a more level playing field for digital companies in the EU. The acts seek to promote competition, protect consumers, and ensure that digital platforms operate in a transparent and trustworthy manner. They also aim to tackle issues such as illegal content, hate speech, and disinformation online, which have become increasingly prevalent in recent years.
While the introduction of these acts is a positive step, there are concerns that they could stifle innovation and creativity. Some digital companies have expressed concern that the rules will be too strict and could prevent them from launching new products and services. Others have argued that the rules are not strict enough and that they do not go far enough to address issues such as privacy and data protection.
Despite these concerns, the introduction of the DSA and DMA represents a significant step towards creating a more transparent and trustworthy online environment. The acts will help to promote competition and protect consumers, while also ensuring that digital platforms operate in a fair and open manner. As the digital world continues to evolve and grow, it is essential that the EU remains vigilant in regulating this space, and the DSA and DMA represent an important step towards achieving this goal.