The big news in tech today is that the European Union (EU) reached an agreement on its ‘Digital Markets Act’ (DMA) that aims to “make the digital sector fairer and more competitive.”
Like the EU’s GDPR, the DMA will have wide-reaching impacts, specifically on the world’s biggest tech companies: Google, Apple, Amazon, Meta (Facebook), etc. At least, it will in the EU — Canadians likely won’t be directly impacted, although some of the new regulations in the DMA may have knock-on effects outside Europe (more on this at the end).
To start, let’s dig into some of the biggest changes the DMA brings to tech in Europe.
EU comes for Big Tech
The DMA is set up to target what the EU calls “gatekeepers,” defined as companies controlling one or more core platform services in at least three EU members states. Google’s and Apple’s smartphone app stores are great examples of this since they’re core services available in multiple European countries. However, services like search engines, social networks, cloud services, advertising, voice assistants, web browsers, and more also fall under this umbrella.
Along with the gatekeeper focus, DMA has certain revenue, valuation, and active user thresholds companies need to meet before the regulations take effect. These requirements mean the DMA almost exclusively applies to big tech companies like those mentioned above.
The DMA also outlines punishments for companies that don’t play by the rules. The legislation spells out fines of up to 10 percent of a company’s global turnover, and up to 20 percent fo