The Digital Markets Act (DMA) is the major legislative project with which the the EU is trying to tame the power of the big internet companies. Now, the first comprehensive article-by-article commentary on this groundbreaking legislation has been published. It is edited by Prof. Dr. Rupprecht Podszun, Chair of Civil Law, German and European Competition Law at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. The 686-pages work, published by Nomos-Verlag, explains the provisions word for word. This is a significant help for all legal practitioners.
The DMA provides for specific rules for so-called digital "gatekeepers" such as Google or Apple. The rules shall ensure fairness and contestability of markets where there are power asymmetries as in several digital areas. Business users and end users of such platforms are granted special rights by the DMA. The DMA is enforced by the European Commission, which is creating a new unit for this purpose. It is supported by national authorities like the Bundeskartellamt in Germany. The duties of the gatekeepers can also be enforced in civil proceedings before the courts. The provisions in total will not take effect until spring 2024. However, preparations are already in full swing in companies and law firms.
The commentary is therefore intended to provide orientation at this stage. In addition to Rupprecht Podszun renowned experts have contributed to the commentary, lawyers, officials from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Dr. Andreas Schwab, a member of the European Parliament, who was instrumental in the negotiations of the DMA. Philipp Bongartz and Alexander Kirk, two junior researchers from the chair's team at HHU, are also involved. "We are very proud to be able to present this comprehensive work so quickly and we hope that it helps to get to grips with the complex DMA right from the start. The DMA is regarded worldwide as a kind of model for platform regulation. 10 to 20 companies will be designated as gatekeepers - some of them are the most powerful and important companies in the world," explains Prof. Podszun. "We are very curious ourselves, whether the gatekeeper regulation will work the way we want it to in the interests of users, but also in terms of openness to innovation and technology! The commentary is a contribution to this."
The Commentary is published in German, yet an English edition (to be published with Hart) is in preparation.