Time to Enforce: The EU’s Digital Rulebook is On the Line

Mark Dempsey is Senior EU Advocacy Officer for ARTICLE 19, based in Brussels. A photo at the European Commission in Brussels, 2017. Shutterstock This article partially draws on the content of a panel discussion that took place at the annual Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection (CPDP) conference in Brussels in May of this year. Hosted by ARTICLE 19, the panel ‘Bridging the gap – enforcing the Digital Markets Act (DMA), learning from the data protection experience’ sought to address several challenges with regard to the enforcement of the DMA rules that interplay with the EU frameworks for data protection, as well as other end users’ rights.  The Digital Markets Act (DMA) is the EU’s new regulatory framework, which imposes obligations on large platforms in digital markets. It aims to ensure that markets for core platform services (of which there are 22 identified) are ‘contestable and fair,’ which, broadly speaking, means that gatekeepers must not ‘impose unfair conditions on businesses and end users.’ Introduced by the European Commission as a proposal in December 2020 after a thorough legislative process and inter-institutional negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council, the proposal became law on November 1, 2022, and most rules became applicable in May 2023. Under the DMA, the European Commission can designate companies as gatekeepers if they fulfill three quantitative criteria: 1) the company has a strong economic position and a significant impact on the EU Single Market; 2) one of its core services operates as ‘an important gateway for…Time to Enforce: The EU’s Digital Rulebook is On the Line