Brussels unveiled the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act, which are supposed to better protect consumers and make digital markets fairer. It is a reform as ambitious as expected, in order to better regulate the digital space and its platforms.
Over the past 20 years, digital platforms have helped to increase accessibility to information, culture and entertainment for consumers in the European Union. But in addition to the benefits, online platforms have led to the development of illegal content, as well as the online sale of illegal goods and services. The first to pay the price are consumers, the digital services legislation proposed by Brussels will impose binding obligations within the European Union on all services and platforms that provide goods, services or content.
The Digital Services Act
- Rules will be established to remove illegal goods, offers, services and content present online.
- Guarantees will be given to users whose content has been deleted by mistake by a site, platform or service.
- Very large platforms will need to take risk-based measures to prevent misuse of their systems.
- New rules will be introduced to make it easier to find sellers of fraudulent goods and services, which is currently one of the EU's most serious shortcomings.
- Cooperation between public authorities will be put in place to ensure effective enforcement of legislation in the EU.
Brussels adds that platforms that claim to have more than 45 million users will automatically be subject to these obligations. They will also be subject to a new monitoring structure. For this, each country of the European Union will see the creation within its own body of a committee that will facilitate the reporting of information to the Commission, which will thus be able to more easily control and then sanction the site, service or platform acting illegally.
The Digital Markets Act
If the first text is more focused and made for users, the second attack the behaviour of platforms, some of which are considered anti-competitive. Antitrust practices; unfair; data control; and user impediment, there is no lack of criticism against some large companies in the digital market. To put an end to these practices, the European Commission is also proposing a whole series of obligations and measures.
- The legislation will apply to search engines, social networks
- The Commission will designate, through various criteria, what it calls "access controllers."
- The regulations will prohibit unfair practices. For example, it will be prohibited to pre-install certain applications on digital devices. Blocking uninstalls will also be reprimanded.
- Sanctions may be imposed in the event of a breach, with fines of up to 10% of the platform's worldwide turnover.
- The European Commission will have the power to conduct targeted market surveys to ensure compliance with new practices and obligations.
Players connected to digital market legislation will be exposed to fines of up to 10% of global turnover. If the offence is repeated, the Commission may go so far as to order the outright stopping of the activities of the platform or the company.