According to one of the EU’s top judges, IT giants will certainly fight a new European Union law aimed at limiting their dominance, with the first cases in a possible wave of litigation expected by year’s end.
The Digital Markets Act (DMA), which took effect in November, would designate internet platforms with more than 45 million users as gatekeepers, among other things.
The gatekeepers – corporations that control data and platform access – must follow a set of rules, such as keeping their messaging services interoperable and not favoring their own products and services on their platforms.
Google, Meta, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft will most likely be on the list of gatekeepers, in accordance with DMA which is to be announced on September 6.
Individuals who disagree with the designation and regulations are expected to file a complaint with the Luxembourg-based General Court within months, according to its president, Marc van der Woude.
The General Court is a branch of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that handles disputes ranging from competition law to commerce and the environment.
Corporations like Google and Apple have actively opposed the DMA.
“We remain concerned that some provisions of the DMA will create unnecessary privacy and security vulnerabilities for our users, while others will prohibit us from charging for intellectual property in which we invest a great deal,” he said in March 2022.
Google has joined these comments, expressing fear that the new regulations will impede innovation.
Nonetheless, van der Woude stated that the DMA was still developing.
Europe is taking the lead in bringing the rules of the analogue world to the digital.
This week, the Digital Markets Act officially became law.
A law to redress the imbalance of power in the digital sector and ensure these markets remain fair and open.
More ⬇️ #DigitalEU pic.twitter.com/6HqLtAOH73
— European Commission (@EU_Commission) October 14, 2022
“It’s a living organism, this DMA, it’s under constant review, obligations will be reviewed and implementing acts. So if I might call it like this, it will be a lawyer’s paradise,” he said.
He stated that the main points of contention would be the gatekeeper designation, the specifics of their tasks, and the enforcement of the DMA
A controversial issue is expected to be the necessity for gatekeepers to notify the Commission of their purchases and whether such agreements reach the threshold for regulatory review, according to van der Woude.