In a bid to have a say how in how big tech companies like Apple, Google, and Meta operate the European Union is set to roll out a list of legislative rules dubbed the DMA (Digital Markets Act). The European Union aims to begin enforcing the Digital Markets Act in spring 2023.
According to reports Executive vice president of the commission, Margrethe Vestager previously stated that the antitrust legislation, which introduces a new set of rules to guide the practices of Big Tech, could be implemented as early as October of this year. In a recent announcement at the International Competition Network (ICN) conference Vestager made a speech that “The DMA will enter into force next spring and we are getting ready for enforcement as soon as the first notifications come in.”
Vestager further disclosed that as soon as the laws come into effect, the Commission will be ready to take action against any violations made by “gatekeepers.” Gatekeepers is a classification that has been used to refer to the likes of Meta, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon as well as tech companies that have a market capitalization of over €75 billion ($82 billion) and own a social platform or app that has at least 45 million monthly users.
For now, reports say that the DMA requires final approval from the Council and Parliament. For violation of the DMA’s rules by “gatekeepers”, the entities stand to face fines of “up to 10 percent of its total worldwide turnover in the preceding financial year.” A fee that is likely to increase to about 20 percent in the case of a repeat offense.
In accordance with the new DMA rules set to roll out, gatekeepers will have the responsibility to declare their status to the Commission within three months, followed by a waiting period of up to two months to receive EU confirmation. This waiting period, coupled with the delayed DMA enforcement, could mean real battles between the EU and Big Tech wouldn’t surface just yet, maybe until the end of 2023.
Vestager explains that “This next chapter is exciting, however, it means a lot of concrete preparations.” Vestager further explains that the next chapter for the Commission “Is about setting up new structures within the Commission. It’s about hiring staff. It’s about preparing the IT systems. It’s about drafting further legal texts on procedures or notification forms. Our teams are currently busy with all these preparations and we’re aiming to come forward with the new structures very soon.”
As a result of all the structures, the Commission is trying to put in place, pushing back the DMA’s enforcement was necessary, as this could give the Commission more time to prepare. TechCrunch hints that the delay could also serve as a catalyst for criticism should the Commission fails to address any major violations that occur between now and the time the DMA laws start to kick in.