Commission, COM/2020/825 final + COM/2020/842 final, 15 December 2020

EU: The Two Proposed Regulations in the Commission's Digital Services Act Package

On 15 December 2020, the European Commission proposed two legislative initiatives: the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA). As part of the European Digital Strategy "Shaping Europe’s Digital Future", the DSA and DMA have two main goals: (i) to create a safer digital space in which the fundamental rights of all users of digital services are protected, and (ii) to establish a level playing field to foster innovation, growth, and competitiveness, both in the European Single Market and globally

Intented Impact of DSA

The Draft Digital Services Act (DSA) is envisioned to significantly improve the mechanisms for the removal of illegal content and for the effective protection of users’ fundamental rights online, including the freedom of speech. The Draft DSA also creates a stronger public oversight of online platforms, in particular for platforms that reach more than 10% of the EU’s population. This means concretely:

  • measures to counter illegal goods, services or content online,
    such as a mechanism for users to flag such content and for platforms to cooperate with “trusted flaggers”
  • new obligations on traceability of business users
    in online market places, to help identify sellers of illegal goods
  • effective safeguards for users,
    including the possibility to challenge platforms’ content moderation decisions
  • transparency measures for online platforms
    on a variety of issues, including on the algorithms used for recommendations
  • obligations for very large platforms
    to prevent the misuse of their systems by taking risk-based action and by independent audits of their risk management systems
  • access for researchers to key data
    of the largest platforms, in order to understand how online risks evolve
  • oversight structure to address the complexity of the online space:
    EU countries will have the primary role, supported by a new European Board for Digital Services; for very large platforms, enhanced supervision and enforcement by the Commission

Intended Impact of DMA

The Draft Digital Markets Act (DMA) establishes a set of narrowly defined objective criteria for qualifying a large online platform as a so-called “gatekeeper”. These criteria will be met if a company has:

  • a strong economic position, significant impact on the internal market and is active in multiple EU countries
  • a strong intermediation position, meaning that it links a large user base to a large number of businesses
  • an entrenched and durable position in the market, meaning that it is stable over time

The Draft DMA is envisioned to bring about serveral significant benefits in terms of "fair play":

  • Business users
    who depend on gatekeepers to offer their services in the single market will have a fairer business environment.
  • Innovators and technology start-ups
    will have new opportunities to compete and innovate in the online platform environment without having to comply with unfair terms and conditions limiting their development.
  • Consumers
    will have more and better services to choose from, more opportunities to switch their provider if they wish so, direct access to services, and fairer prices.
  • Gatekeepers
    will keep all opportunities to innovate and offer new services. They will simply not be allowed to use unfair practices towards the business users and customers that depend on them to gain an undue advantage.


EU-Commission, Proposal for a Regulation on a Single Market For Digital Services (Digital Services Act), COM(2020) 825 final, 15 December 2020

EU-Commission, Proposal for a Regulation on Digital Markets Act, COM(2020) 842 final, 15 December 2020

Verlag Dr. Otto Schmidt vom 09.02.2021 17:05

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