The Digital Markets Act and EU Competition Policy: A Critical Ordoliberal Evaluation

By Manuel Wörsdörfer (University of Maine)

The E.U. is shortly before implementing the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which aims to regulate digital markets and (ideally) rein in the power of big tech gatekeepers. Several researchers claim that this proposal – and especially its goal to ensure the contestability and fairness of digital markets – is ordoliberal in nature, yet what is missing in the academic literature is a closer look at the parallels (and differences) between the E.U.’s competition policy (and the DMA) and ordoliberalism. This paper tries to close the gap and help answer the question of whether the DMA is indeed standing in an ordoliberal tradition. Furthermore, it evaluates the Act’s institutional strengths and weaknesses – as seen from an ordoliberal perspective – and points out potential ways to strengthen E.U. competition policy (and the DMA) and bring it closer to the ordoliberal ideal.

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