No Pain, No Gain? The Digital Markets Act

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Publication Date January 2022
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The Digital Markets Act (DMA) is a single set of rules for the largest digital platforms, intended to help improve competition in the EU. The rules will force big tech firms to change the way they operate, to promote more open markets. The DMA could make some online services worse for consumers in the short term. But a degree of short-term consumer inconvenience may be needed to promote greater competition. Greater competition will serve consumers better in the long run – for example, by giving them more choices and speeding up innovation. EU law-makers need to be pragmatic. If the DMA annoys users too much – or worse, causes new security vulnerabilities – it could lose credibility. The Commission therefore needs the power to exempt big tech firms from the rules in some cases. Without this type of safeguard, the DMA may become unpopular before it has the chance to succeed.

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European Commission: COM (2020) 842: Proposal for a Regulation on contestable and fair markets in the digital sector (Digital Markets Act)
EUI: RSCAS Policy Briefs: 2021/49: Digital markets act in the making : challenges and potential of the new EU regulation on big tech

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