As part of the European Digital Strategy, the European Commission has proposed two pieces legislation to make a ‘safer and more open digital space’. The Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA) have two main goals: 1) to create a safer digital space in which the fundamental rights of all users of digital services are protected and 2) to establish a level playing field to foster innovation, growth, and competitiveness, both in the European Single Market and globally.
While the detail of these regulations has yet to be confirmed, this much anticipated legislation could have profound effect. The nature of digital companies and societies engagement with them has changed drastically since that last European piece of market-oriented legislation was enacted in 2000 – The E-Commerce Directive.
These regulations could signal Europe’s leadership in the digital age, as well as amplifying the good aspects of technology and mitigating the negatives in ways never before seen.
If the DSA and DMA achieve their objectives of increasing openness, fairness, safety, and competition, what signal might this send to global companies like Facebook, Alphabet, and Amazon forced to adhere in only the European jurisdiction? Could we see similar legislation adopted in the US and Asia, or could we see increased focus on extra-European markets?
The Digital Markets Act: ensuring fair and open digital markets https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/digital-markets-act-ensuring-fair-and-open-digital-markets_en
The Digital Services Act package - Shaping Europe’s digital future - European Commission https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/digital-services-act-package
The Digital Services Act package is here - Allen & Overy https://www.allenovery.com/en-gb/global/news-and-insights/publications/the-digital-services-act-package-is-here