On 12 October, the Digital Markets Act (DMA) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The appearance of the text in the Journal, followed by a 20-day period, constitutes the entry into force of the rules. As for their application, additional actions will still be undertaken in the upcoming months.
As outlined in Article 54 of the DMA, the rules will generally start applying on 2 May 2023. However, certain specific provisions will already become applicable as of 1 November 2022, notably the ones empowering the European Commission to lay down the preparatory steps opening the way for the Commission to kick off the gatekeepers’ designation procedure. These include the possible adoption of delegated acts aiming to specify the quantitative thresholds (e.g., 45 million monthly active end users) employed by the Commission to define a gatekeeper, as well as the methodology to tally the active end users of a core platform service.
As for the applicability of obligations imposed upon thus-designated gatekeepers, these will be enforceable by March 2024. This means that after the designation phase, a case-by-case process which is expected to be finalised by mid-2023, gatekeepers will have less than a year to comply with the rules phased in by the DMA.
As the voice of the digital commerce sector in Europe, Ecommerce Europe is closely looking at how to ensure legal certainty for businesses and to facilitate businesses’ compliance with the rules. The new rulebook heavily relies on extensive obligations for economic actors, which requires a strong enforcement structure capable of spell out clear rules while engaging with stakeholders.
Ecommerce Europe will be following the developments within the European Commission with regards to the clarification of the methodology to calculate active users concerning online marketplaces. We are committed to ensuring that these criteria properly reflect the state of the art of the e-commerce sector in Europe and that they provide legal certainty to businesses.