The Digital Markets Act (“DMA”) was published in the Official Journal on October 12, 2022 and certain provisions are already in force. The majority of the provisions will enter into force in May 2023 and the first designation decisions are expected in September 2023. The DMA passed through the legislative process relatively quickly, and notably in a shorter timeframe than European Commission investigations into the conduct of digital companies. Duration of investigations was one of the motivating factors behind the DMA, but a balance must be struck between speedy enforcement and protecting companies’ rights of defense. European Commission officials, and indeed the text of the DMA itself, have emphasised that the DMA is designed to complement competition law. The two regimes running in parallel will give rise to challenges in deciding which powers should be used for a particular case and the extent to which precedents should be read across, as well as concerns about potential over-enforcement and double jeopardy. However, implementation of the DMA will give rise to opportunities as well as challenges: institutions, companies and advisors will need to work together closely to ensure that the DMA meets its objective of promoting consumer welfare without unduly chilling innovation.
By Esther Kelly & Fiona Garside
After reaching a political agreement earlier in 2022, the Digital Markets Act (“DMA”) was formally adopte...