Digital Markets Act: How to preserve innovation and competition in the EU digital economy?


On Monday
, 25th of January 2021 at 17.00 PubAffairs Bruxelles was delighted to hold an evening discussion on how to preserve innovation and competition in the EU digital economy, with special regard to the recent release of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) with our distinguished speakers Ms Deirdre Clune MEP (EPP/IR), Mr Martijn Snoep, Chairman, Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), Professor Nicolas Petit, Competition Law, European University Institute (EUI) and Mr Kayvan Hazemi-Jebelli, Competition Counsel, Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA).

FULL EVENT DISCUSSION moderated by Aoifa White

This event is organised in collaboration with CCIA


About the debate

The European Commission’s newly released  Digital Markets Act (DMA) is poised to overhaul the EU single market and contribute to making “Europe fit for the digital age by addressing questions around the fairness of platforms’ relationships with their business users and the contestability of online platform environments.

This approach to regulation of the platform economy has been considered significant, not only because of the scale of the possible impacts on both the European and the global digital sector, but also because of the scope of the proposed legislation. Traditional competition policy objectives of “efficiency” and “consumer welfare” have been replaced with “fairness” and “contestability” for a range of digital services including marketplaces, app stores and social networks, as well as online search engines, operating systems and cloud services.

The DMA aims at shaping the European digital single market by targeting significant and entrenched operators of “a core platform service which serves as an important gateway for business users to reach end users”. Market significance and entrenched and durable positions are defined through quantitative criteria, such as size or revenues, supplemented by case-by-case qualitative assessment.

The matter of how to preserve competition in digitally enabled markets is still relatively new. How to strike the right balance between ex-ante regulation and open competition, as well as of how to achieve the intended effects – and to avoid unintended side-effects – of regulations in the digital world is featuring high in the current EU public policy debate. Indeed, the questions arising from network-based and fast-evolving markets of the digital and platform economy have come at a tipping point which several observers predict will imply a long global process of scrutiny, discussion and adaption.

The question hence is: “How to preserve innovation and competition in the EU digital economy?”


About the speakers

Deirdre Clune

Deirdre Clune was elected as an MEP in 2014 and served in the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) and the Delegation for Relations with Canada, among others. In the current parliamentary term, she is Member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) for which she holds the position of a Shadow rapporteur with regard to the Opinion on the Digital Services Act and fundamental rights issues posed.

Martijn Snoep

Since September 2018, Martijn Snoep has been the Chairman of the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). He obtained his law degree from Erasmus University Rotterdam. Until his appointment at ACM, he worked at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek for 28 years. Operating from both their Amsterdam and Brussels locations, Martin Snoep gave advice to businesses about the application of competition law in the Netherlands and abroad. As managing partner, he stood at the helm of the firm between 2010 and 2016.

Nicolas Petit

Nicolas Petit is Professor in Competition Law at the Department of Law at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies of the European University Institute (EUI). He is also visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges. Prior to joining the EUI, Nicolas Petit has held a public office position as a part- time judge with the Belgian competition authority and has also worked in private practice with a leading US law firm in Brussels.

Kayvan Hazemi-Jebelli

Mr. Kayvan Hazemi-Jebelli (Kay) is Competition & Regulatory Counsel to the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) based in Brussels where he represents and advises the association on competition policy issues and European regulatory policy matters. Kay has over ten years’ experience as a competition lawyer in private practice, in the European Commission Directorate- General for Competition, in academia, and as Senior Legal Counsel at a leading media and communications company.

About the moderator

Aoife White
Aoife White is a longtime Brussels-based journalist at Bloomberg