Lazar Radic on the EU’s Digital Markets Act

ICLE Senior Scholar Lazar Radic was quoted by MediaNama in a story about implementation of the European Union’s Digital Markets Act. You can read the full piece here.

Lazar Radic, Senior Scholar for Competition Policy at the International Center for Law & Economics, Adjunct Professor of Law at IE University pointed to the delayed release of services like Threads and Google’s AI due to the lack of clarity about the obligations under the DMA. He also noted that consumers had taken affront to Google Search removing the link to Google Maps at the top of their Search page. Thus, he concluded “[The DMA is] focused on fairness and contestability. It’s not concerned with consumer welfare, efficiency, or consumer welfare considerations.” Jha agreed that there was a similar risk in India. Thus, to prevent this he believes an “in-depth broad study at a stakeholder level is necessary.”

…Radic said, “The Digital Markets Act was touted at the beginning as a self-enforcement tool. It was said that the Digital Markets Act would compel gatekeepers to act a certain way without much necessity of the Commission’s intervening to decide whether a certain product design complies with the obligations and prohibitions. And therefore, it wouldn’t require such a great increase in staffing.” However, Radic argued that the reality was a bit more complex. He noted that designated gatekeepers in a set of lengthy workshops had presented the various ways in which the the gatekeepers would be enacting obligations and prohibitions under the DMA. Yet, soon the EC opened investigations into these gatekeepers for not complying with their obligations. “So it’s not that self-executing, it seems”, he said.

…Radic also spoke about a similar challenge in the enforcement of the DMA. Speaking about regulators in the EU he said, “Nobody knows if there’s enough capacity. What I would say is that it seems that more capacity is going to be required than was initially envisioned.” He pointed out the issue saying, “The people that are qualified to enforce this and that understand this, are people that come from the competition law world. You have a limited pool of experts, you’re taking those people away from competition law enforcement…. and you’re putting them in this regulatory sandbox…..”