EU: Ensure effective enforcement of Digital Markets Act

EU: Ensure effective enforcement of Digital Markets Act - Digital

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On 27 June 2022, ARTICLE 19 and 17 other civil society organisations addressed a joint letter to the Members of the European Parliament, conveying their serious concerns about the implementation and enforcement resources for the Digital Markets Act (DMA). If the European Commission, as the primary enforcer, cannot provide sufficient in-house resources to ensure adequate compliance with the DMA, this undermines the aim this regulation claims to seek.

27 June 2022

Dear Member of the European Parliament,

The undersigned representatives of civil society welcome the EU’s determination to set a high standard for platform regulation with the agreements reached on the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and on the Digital Services Act (DSA). We look forward to their formal adoption by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers and their entry into force as soon as possible.

We recognise that, if properly enforced, the DMA and the DSA, together with other digital regulation in the pipeline, will be landmark laws to rebalance digital markets, increase citizens’ and consumer protection and choice and put an end to many of the harmful practices that big tech companies have engaged in over the years.

However, these instruments will only be effective if big tech companies comply with the rules in practice. In this respect, we would like to convey our serious concerns about the implementation and enforcement resources for the DMA.

We welcome that the European Commission will be the primary enforcer of the DMA to ensure uniform application of these new rules and that it will have an essential role in the enforcement of other digital legislation such as the DSA. Nevertheless, we are concerned that the Commission will only be in a position to exercise its roles effectively under these new laws if it has sufficient human and technical resources, including IT tools and digital specialist expertise.

If the Commission lacks the necessary resources and in-house expertise to ensure compliance, big tech companies would be unlikely to take seriously their responsibilities to comply. This would directly affect the effectiveness of the rules and compromise the achievement of their objectives. In this case, the legislation would soon lose credibility in the eyes of Europe’s citizens. Moreover, ineffective enforcement would undermine the respect the EU as a whole has earned for being the first jurisdiction in the world to tackle the excess power of Big Tech.

With this in mind, at the moment when the European Parliament is due to formally approve the Digital Markets Act, we strongly urge the Parliament to focus its attention on the enforcement in practice of this ground-breaking legislation because adoption of the legislation is simply the first step. More specifically, we urge the Parliament to use its budgetary powers, and all other means at its disposal, to enable and support the Commission to take steps now to put in place all necessary resources in a timely manner to effectively enforce the DMA.

Yours sincerely,

AlgorithmWatch (Europe)
Amnesty International (International)
ARTICLE 19 (International)
Asociația pentru Tehnologie și Internet (Romania)
Balanced Economy Project (International)
BEUC (Europe)
Bits of Freedom (The Netherlands)
Center for Economic Justice (USA)
Citizen D / Državljan D (Slovenia)
Deutsche Vereinigung für Datenschutz e.V. (DVD) (Germany)
Digitalcourage (Germany)
European Digital Rights – EDRi (Europe)
Lie Detectors (Europe)
LobbyControl (Europe)
Panoptykon Foundation (Poland)
Privacy International (International)
SOMO (International)
Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband e.V. (Germany)

Letter available in PDF