The Implementation of the Digital Markets Act with National Antitrust Laws

By Christophe Carugati (Université Paris II)

The December 2020 Commission’s proposal for a Digital Markets Act (DMA) reached a compromised text with the Council and the Parliament on March 24, 2022. While the text that will impose obligations and prohibition rules on large online platforms acting as “gatekeepers” before any wrongdoing ex-ante is due to enter into force in October 2022, the same platforms are already under investigation in Germany under a DMA-like competition law that also imposes prohibition rules ex-ante. Other countries in Europe, including Italy, are considering following Germany and implementing new competition rules to adapt to the digital economy. How should the DMA implement with national competition laws? This question is crucial because inconsistency will inevitably hamper the effectiveness of both the DMA and national competition laws. The paper addresses this question by studying the DMA and German implementation framework. Section I explains how legislators envisage the implementation of the DMA with national competition laws. Section II then considers the implementation of the DMA-like national competition rules by focusing the analysis on Germany, which already enforced its new legislation in January 2022 against Google. Section III designs a cooperation model between the DMA and national competition laws. Section IV concludes.

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