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EU: Commission publishes final proposals for Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act for regulating digital platforms

The European Commission published, on 15 December 2020, its final proposals for the Digital Services Act ('DSA') and the Digital Markets Act ('DMA') which constitute a set of rules aiming at regulating digital services, including social media, online market places, and other online platforms operating in the EU. In particular, the new rules aim to, among other things, foster innovation, support the scaling up for smaller companies and start-ups by allowing them easy access to customers, as well as to prohibit the imposition of unfair conditions by online platforms which have become or may become the gatekeepers of the single market.

More specifically, the DSA will introduce EU-wide obligations for digital services, including rules for the removal of illegal goods, or online content, obligations for risk-based action by large online platforms, new powers for facilitating access to key platform data by researchers, as well as rules governing the traceability of business users in online market places.

Moreover, the DMA focuses on prohibiting unfair practices by online platforms-gatekeepers alongside providing enforcement mechanisms by, among others, defining quantitative thresholds to identify presumed gatekeepers, prohibiting practices that are unfair, and imposing sanctions for non-compliance with such rules.

The European Parliament and the Member States will discuss the Commission's proposals and, if these proposals are adopted, they will be directly applicable across the EU.

You can read the announcement here, the Q&A on the DSA here, the Q&A on the DMA here, the proposal for the DSA here, and the proposal for the DMA here.