One step further towards a fairer digital environment
On 5 July 2022, the European Parliament endorsed the Interinstitutional Agreement on the two texts of the Digital Service Package: the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA).
HOTREC applauds the results achieved in the DMA. Above all, we believe that the market leader for intermediated online hotel sales, which commanded almost 70% of the European market in 2019, will fit among the ‘designated gatekeepers’ based on the criteria set out by EU lawmakers. Co-legislators have also adopted the right remedies to reign in online platform gatekeeper power in this area by setting out a ban on narrow price parity clauses, which prevent hoteliers from offering a better price on their own channels than the platform and providing business users with better access to the data generated by their listings.
HOTREC is also very supportive of the DSA. A strong regulatory framework is essential to reinforce the bargaining power of millions of European SMEs and establish a level playing field with collaborative economy services. Under the new rules, intermediary services, namely online platforms – such as social media and marketplaces – will have to take measures to protect their users from illegal content, goods and services. It will largely facilitate the removal of illegal offers of services such as illegal offers of Short Term Rentals. On the latter, we strongly believe that the Commission’s intention to put forward a proposal for a Regulation on Short-term Rentals Services in the coming months is another essential building block to create effective, proportionate and fair rules for STR services. These are essential to bring the industry in line with fellow tourism service providers and ensure that the industry is effectively contributing to the ‘real’ economy, supporting the rebirth of European tourism in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic.
The DMA and the DSA will still have to be formally adopted by the EU Council in July and September respectively. After that, both pieces of legislation will be published in the Official Journal of the EU.
The DMA will enter into force 20 days later and will be directly applicable in all Member States six months thereafter. We count on the Commission to take all the necessary steps to enforce this crucial piece of legislation for the sector.
The implementation of the DSA provides for a transposition period of 15 months and the 1st of January 2024 has been chosen as the latest date. In order to ensure effective and uniform implementation of requirements under the DSA, the Council and Parliament have decided to confer on the Commission exclusive power to supervise very large online platforms (VLOPs) and large online search engines (VLOSEs) for the obligations specific to this type of actor. Platforms will be supervised at the European level in cooperation with the Member States. This new supervisory mechanism maintains the country-of-origin principle, which will continue to apply to other actors and requirements covered by the DSA.