ANNOUNCEMENT: ICLE Comment on Final Digital Markets Act Adoption

BRUSSELS (March 24, 2022)— The following comment from the International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE) on today’s agreement to adopt the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) can be attributed to ICLE Director of Competition Policy Dirk Auer:

“Despite recent compromises and marginal changes, the DMA remains a flawed piece of legislation that seeks to bolster European firms against the predominantly American platforms that outcompeted them in the marketplace. Unfortunately, this protectionist ploy will impose significant costs on consumers.

“European legislators assume that implementing the DMA’s list of ‘dos and don’ts’  is a largely costless exercise. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mandated interoperability, bans on self-preferencing, and limits to platforms’ use of data—some of the DMA’s key provisions—all have significant costs. These will ultimately be passed on to consumers in the form of degraded functionality, higher prices, and increased ad loads. This is not just conjecture: consumers rightly complain about cookie consent forms and mandated choice screens, both of which will become even more ubiquitous under the DMA.

“In short, the DMA will produce unforeseen consequences that harm the very consumers it purports to protect.”

For further background, ICLE earlier this week published a white paper by Academic Affiliate Giuseppe Colangelo exploring the risks of double jeopardy and conflicting decisions expected to stem from the DMA’s intersection with national-level competition law, sector-specific regulations that target digital “gatekeepers,” and rules on relative market power and economic dependence.

To schedule an interview about the Digital Markets Act with Auer or other ICLE competition scholars, contact ICLE Editor-in-Chief R.J. Lehmann at [email protected] or 1-908-265-5272.