Digital Markets Act: MEP Comment

DMA Shadow Rapporteurs, Evelyne Gebhardt, Andrus Ansip and Martin Schirdewan talk to the Parliament Magazine about how the new legislation will help unlock Big Tech's gates
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Time to take back control of our data, writes Evelyne Gebhardt

For Parliament’s S&D Group, the compromise on interoperability for messenger services and social media is a major achievement that will allow consumers to reach all their contacts, regardless of the app they chose, as they can with email and text messages. This will end the harmful dependence on gatekeepers.

As citizens, our choice of providers is artificially reduced to a single option, whose terms and conditions we must accept to take part in normal digital life. Nor can we choose how our personal data is handled. The DMA will put an end to this. We also decided to be firm on targeted advertising. Big Tech owe much of their market power to the personal data of their users. Tracking ads entails personal profiling, exploiting individual characteristics and information.

We would have preferred of course to ban the practice completely, but we did not have a majority for this. We managed however, to prohibit minors being subject to targeted advertising. Adults, meanwhile, will have the option to choose if they want to be targeted by tracking ads. Including this in the DMA will be a game changer for enforcing GDPR. 

Evelyne Gebhardt (DE, S&D) is shadow rapporteur on the DMA report


Time to control digital corporations, writes Martin Schirdewan

In creating a fair and safe internet for all users, the DMA needs to address all the unfair practices that have led to the creation of companies that are too big to fail. By imposing interoperability between messenger and social media, I secured the end of lock-in effects within Facebook and WhatsApp. Furthermore, I introduced a ban on so-called ‘dark patterns’ that trick users

Finally, Big Tech can no longer be allowed to mislead us into consent through annoying Popups anymore. Unscrupulous business models must be tackled to create a fairer digital market. I will continue to fight to ban personalised advertising and end Attention-Seeking Business models. Platforms are flooding our timelines with waste, hatred and violence, just to make us stay and fill their wallets. The proposal to simply limit the DMA to the big five GAFAM tech giants plus a few exceptions is a mistake.

The DMA should instead cover all digital monopolies, covering more than 20 companies. If these companies ignore or break the DMA’s rules, European regulators must be brave enough to impose strong remedies. It is time to break digital monopolies and provide European citizens with a better internet.

Martin Schirdewan (DE, GUE/NGL) is shadow rapporteur on the DMA report


Approving the DMA will benefit all, writes Andrus Ansip

There are around 10,000 different digital platforms in the EU and the Platform to Business Regulation (P2B) deals with those platforms. The DMA will create the legal conditions for business users and major platforms, the so-called ‘gatekeepers’. Its aim is to maintain EU market harmonisation and so DMA is an internal market tool, not a competition one.

Its purpose is to ensure effective competition within digital markets and, in particular, a fair and competitive online platform environment. It is not a protectionist or an anti-American measure. We share our goals with our US counterparts as we are dealing with the same issues as the US Congress and US courts - ensuring a level playing field for our companies and fair competition.

We have had heated debates, and I am happy that the IMCO committee supported all compromise amendments and the proposal as a whole. I hope that there will also be a broad majority in favour at the upcoming plenary. Knowing that the Parliament reflects the views of society as a whole, the broad adoption of the DMA is a good sign that this legislation will be accepted by everybody. 

Andrus Ansip (EE, RE) is shadow rapporteur on the DMA report

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