The event will consist of an afternoon session ahead of the trilogue negotiations of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) on the question of protecting the interest of European consumers with our distinguished speakers:
- Ms Lea Zuber, Team Leader, Task Force on Digital Markets Act, DG COMP, European Commission;
- Professor Annabelle Gawer, Chaired Professor in Digital Economy, University of Surrey;
- Mr Gareth Shier, Principal, Economist, Oxera;
- Mr Kayvan Hazemi-Jebelli, Competition Counsel, Computer & Communications Industry Association – CCIA Europe.
The discussion will be moderated by Lewis Crofts, Editor-In-Chief, Mlex.
This is a public event, hence the Chatham House Rule will not apply.
About the debate
There is widespread agreement on the fact that online platforms play a prominent role in creating economic value for consumers and businesses. Increasingly, their economic and social influence, and the appropriate scope of Government intervention, has been at the centre of the European public debate.
Within this context, the Digital Market Act (DMA) proposal was put forward, against which the positions of the European Parliament’s competent Committee and the “general approach” of the Council were recently adopted. The specific aim of teh DMA is to regulate the activities of large online platforms – such as operating systems, cloud services, search engines, social networking services and marketplaces. These new EU-wide rules will constrain the market power of the largest platforms, rebalance the relationship between these platforms and their business users, and promote contestability and fairness.
To achieve its objectives, the Digital Markets Act will impose a series of ex-ante obligations and prohibitions on any firm designated as a ‘gatekeeper’. These obligations will regulate platform services with the overarching concept that increasing fairness and contestability for business users will have positive effects for consumers through increased competition, innovation and, ultimately, the degree of choice and quality present in the EU digital sector.
Against this background, a recent study published by Oxera identified concerns over the form-based approach to ex-ante regulation that the DMA adopted. The study highlights that “the DMA creates a risk of over-enforcement by restricting a series of common business practices, found offline as well as online, that can have net positive effects for society. In particular, the DMA’s ‘catch-all’ and ‘per se’ approach to prohibiting a range of value creating behaviours risks stifling the growth of Europe’s digital economy.”
As part of this event, Oxera Principal, Gareth Shier will present additional analysis focusing on particular DMA amendments proposed by the European Parliament and the European Council, and the impact these could have on European consumers of digital services in the future.
A discussion on how the DMA can best protect the consumer interest will follow, including several discussants: Lea Zuber who leads the European Commission’s Digital Markets Act Task Force of DG Competition, Professor Annabelle Gawer, leading expert on the business of digital platforms and author of “Online platforms: Economic and societal effects“, and competition lawyer and industry expert, Kay Jebelli.
As the EU institutions enter trilogue negotiations with the European Commission, they will have the opportunity to fine tune the DMA and better balance the interests of business users with the impact that the regulation will have on consumers. What should negotiators be mindful of, and what issues should still be addressed? How can the DMA better preserve value creation and put European consumers’ interests first?
The event will commence at 17.00 and it will last around one hour and a half.
The discussion will be held online.
The audience will be able to ask questions during both the discussion and the Q&A session through sli.do #DMATrilogue