Digital Markets Act

ESTONIA – LEGISLATION

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) came into force in the EU last autumn. Estonia and other EU countries are obliged to implement it in their legislation within two years, according to postimees.ee.

The original aim of the new law was to limit the dominance of large web platforms such as Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, etc. in the digital market. However, some clauses in the law suggest that it will be much broader and could affect everyone from cloud services businesses to search engines and even identity service providers.

Digital Markets Act

For example, in order to eliminate price competition, the law has clauses requiring uniform pricing. With another clause, the law obliges the service provider to make it possible for customers to switch freely between different services.

The law also requires the user to be able to revoke the rights once granted at any time: for example, if he or she no longer wishes to use the service under the scrutiny of cookies and third parties.

Among other things, companies are prohibited from displaying advertisements aimed at minors and advertisements using sensitive information (e.g. related to human health conditions).

Additional responsibilities for web-based platforms

The new law package also includes additional tasks for web platforms, such as the obligation to combat illegal content.

The EU reserves the right to influence the content of information published on Web platforms in the event of a crisis. For example, in the event of a health crisis, only one type of information should be published on the platforms.

If the law is not complied with, the offender faces a fine of up to 10 per cent of the global annual turnover. Smaller fines are also possible, such as up to 5 per cent of the average daily turnover of the platform. And if a service provider fails to comply, its services may be banned in Europe.

The EU says widespread implementation of the law will start no later than May this year.

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