The European Parliament is studying two texts whose objective is to regulate the American Internet giants, the famous GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple): the DMA and the DSA outline the future regulation, in Europe, of online platforms and content.

With these two complementary and almost indissociable texts, the DMA and the DSA, Europe is moving up a gear by transforming the proposals made by the Commission in 2020 into legislation. The main idea: to regulate the digital world. The will is to set legal rules in our digital space to limit the excessive freedom enjoyed by the digital giants.

Preventing abuses of dominant positions by digital giants

The first text, the Digital Markets Act (DMA), aims to prevent abuses of dominant position by digital giants. The DMA should put an end to the unfair commercial practices of large platforms. The Commission has listed a series of obligations and prohibitions for “systemic” platforms, that is, those that have been active for at least three years in three EU Member States and have a turnover (in Europe) of more than €6.5 billion or have a market capitalization of more than €65 billion. The debate between member states and the European Parliament lies in the definition of what constitutes a systemic platform. The MEPs defined the criteria of turnover at 8 billion and market capitalization at 80 billion (which has the effect of limiting the scope of the DMA to GAFA!). 

Protecting data and content

The second text that should regulate the digital world is the Digital Services Act (DSA), which is about content. In the crosshairs: misinformation and the protection of citizens and consumers, in the wake of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into force in May 2018. The principle of passive host is not questioned to avoid any censorship or upstream validation, as platforms are not responsible for the content published by users. But the most powerful platforms (with more than 45 million users) will be subject to stricter rules than smaller sites. The DSA provides for a maximum fine of 6% of annual turnover. MEPs voted in favor of the Digital Services Act on Thursday, January 20, however amended from the original text. 

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