PublishedNovember 23, 2021

CCIA Cautions Risk of Unintended Consequences from European Parliament Amendments to the Digital Markets Act

Brussels, BELGIUM — Today the European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection voted on its amendments to the Digital Markets Act (DMA) proposal. The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA Europe) appreciates MEPs’ hard work. However, we caution that some of the amendments go far beyond the existing evidence base for intervention, increasing the risk of unintended consequences for consumers, business users, and Europe’s wider digital economy. 

The DMA borrows remedies from ongoing competition enforcement cases and applies them inflexibly and on a one-size-fits-all basis to all platform services of companies designated as “gatekeepers”. Expert economists, including particularly Oxera and the Berkeley Research Group Institute, warn that this approach is likely to have significant unintended consequences that could harm consumers and business users of platform services in Europe. 

These harmful side-effects would be exacerbated by extending the scope of the DMA further to additional platform services and new obligations. The Commission’s own Impact Assessment Report (at para. 156), notes that the Commission explored wider obligations but that these “were replaced by more proportionate obligations”. 

The following can be attributed to CCIA Competition Counsel, Kayvan Hazemi-Jebelli:

CCIA continues to support EU-wide harmonisation of rules regulating platform-to-business relations, but has previously identified these same concerns with the DMA’s provisions, as well as with previously proposed Parliamentary amendments.

“While we appreciate MEPs’ hard work, we are concerned that some of the European Parliament’s proposed amendments go far beyond the Commission’s already ambitious proposal.” 

“MEPs have added a lot to the DMA to be tougher on tech and regulate more of the digital economy. For such far-reaching regulation, the effects are really not well analysed. The lack of any impact assessment of the Parliament’s amendments take the DMA deeper into unknown territory creating significant risks of unintended consequences for Europe’s digital economy.”

“We hope the final EU negotiations will ensure that the DMA is workable for all, gives companies a fair chance to comply, and benefits Europe’s digitising economy for years to come.”

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