European Commission publishes proposals for Digital Services and Markets Acts

 

On 15 December, the European Commission made two new legislative proposals: the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DSA and DMA will address new challenges that have surfaced with digital developments, and aim to ensure that users, consumers and businesses continue to benefit from digital developments.

HOTREC welcomed the European Commission’s announcement, highlighting that these proposals could reduce hospitality businesses’ dependence on large platforms.

The DSA proposes one set of rules applying horizontally to all digital services active in the EU, including those based outside the EU.  As such, new rules will apply to all online intermediaries including online travel and accommodation platforms as well as food delivery platforms. Digital services will nevertheless face asymmetric regulation based on the size, impact and role.

Very large platforms will be required to comply with these requirements and face additional obligations, notably a requirement to share data with authorities and researchers as well as ensure transparency of recommender systems.

Under the DMA proposal, new rules would specifically apply to the largest online platforms operating in the EU, i.e. ‘gatekeeper platforms’ and have a lasting, large user base in multiple countries in the EU. Gatekeeper platforms will be required to comply with an additional layer of requirements (do’s) and prohibited practices (don’ts).

Most observers predict that this process will take at least two years to complete and will be the field of an unprecedented lobbying battle in both Brussels and the EU Member State capitals, with so-called Silicon Valley ‘Big Tech’ investing huge means to avoid stricter regulation applying to their activities. As Regulations, both laws will be directly applicable to all EU Member States on a fully harmonized basis once adopted and both texts are relevant for EEA countries.

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