Regulating Competition in Digital Platform Markets: A Critical Assessment of the Framework and Approach of the EU Digital Markets Act
(2022) 47 European Law Review 85
30 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2021 Last revised: 30 Mar 2022
Date Written: December 1, 2021
The European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) initiative, which is set to introduce ex ante regulatory rules for “gatekeepers” in online platform markets, is one of the most important pieces of legislation to emanate from Brussels in recent decades. It not only has the potential to influence jurisdictions around the world in regulating digital markets, it also has the potential to change the business models of the wealthiest corporations on the planet and how they offer their products and services to their customers. Against that backdrop, this article provides an analysis of the aims of and principles underlying the DMA, the essential components of the DMA, and the core substantive framework, including the scope and structure of the main obligations and the implementation mechanisms envisaged by the DMA. Following this analysis, the article offers a critique of the central components of the DMA, such as its objectives, positioning in comparison to competition law rules, and substantive obligations. The article then provides recommendations and proposes ways in which the DMA – and other legislative initiatives around the world, which may take the DMA as an example – can be significantly improved by, inter alia, adopting a platform-driven substantive framework built upon self-executing, prescriptive obligations.
Keywords: Digital Markets Act, DMA, platform regulation, competition law, digital markets, online platforms, European Union competition law, antitrust, gatekeepers
JEL Classification: K20, K21, K33, K23, L12, L13, L4, L5, L41, L43, L86, L96, D4, K2
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation