EU recognises bigger platforms need tougher rules – New framework for platform accountability a starting point but still a way to go

Brussels, 15th December 2020,

Today, the European Commission published its long-awaited and concurrent proposals for a Digital Services Act (DSA) and a Digital Markets Act (DMA). 

The first is a horizontal review of online services’ legal framework, while the markets’ legislation will be a new instrument to address the economic power of large online gatekeeping platforms.  

While the exact scope and reach of these two proposals will need to be further analysed over the coming days and weeks, IMPALA welcomes the proposals as the starting point of a longer discussion with the EU’s co-legislators.  

IMPALA’s Executive Chair Helen Smith commented: “If we strike the right balance, both pieces of legislation represent opportunities to secure a more inclusive and competitive online ecosystem, where all actors can operate on a level playing field. From what we have seen so far, there is still a way to go for the legislation to achieve its purpose. At the same time, we fully support the aim of achieving a more accountable digital environment and welcome the recognition that some operators are quasi public services with responsibilities that need to go beyond what is normally required of businesses in Europe.”

Helen Smith continued: “As a starting point, any new competition tool needs to prevent the high levels of concentration and companies with entrenched market power for indispensable trading. Cultural goods are unique and not substitutable, and the impact of market power is particularly serious in such markets. We have been calling out the inadequacy of the current competition framework for a number of years now. We want to see effective responsibility of all platforms, building on the EU’s work under the previous legislature with the copyright directive and platform to business regulation. A safer and more accountable internet is in the interest of everyone, citizens and businesses alike.” 

Helen Smith concluded: “We look forward to working with Member States and the European Parliament to ensure that the voice of independent music companies is heard in this debate and that together we can achieve the digital framework which Europe deserves.”

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

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