The EU’s Digital Markets Act Gatekeeper List Shows Targeting of American Technology Companies, Says ITIF
BRUSSELS—The European Union (EU) has designated Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance (TikTok), Meta, and Microsoft as “gatekeepers”, making them subject to rules set out in the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The firms have six months to comply with the DMA, which imposes a number of blanket prohibitions on “self-preferencing,” most favored customer clauses, tying, and bundling practices which are often pro-consumer and widely practiced across many sectors of the EU economy. The DMA also enacts data-sharing obligations which risk chilling innovation in user services. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the leading think tank for science and technology policy, released the following statement from ITIF’s new director of the Schumpeter Project on Competition Policy, Joe Coniglio:
None of the companies identified as gatekeepers are European. As a result, the move will not only be interpreted as reflecting more of the same flawed approach to innovation taken by the EU, but outright protectionism aimed primarily at American firms that risks straining the transatlantic alliance.
The irony is that the policy underlying the DMA is an important reason why there are no European firms subject to its dictates. The EU’s long-held precautionary approach to competition policy contributed to stifling the very innovation competition that gave rise to the large American technology firms and created the digital revolution.
For more on this issue, see:
- Aurelien Portuese, “The Digital Markets Act: A Triumph of Regulation Over Innovation” (ITIF, 2022).
- Aurelien Portuese, “The Digital Markets Act: European Precautionary Antitrust” (ITIF, 2021)
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute focusing on the intersection of technological innovation and public policy. Recognized by its peers in the think tank community as the global center of excellence for science and technology policy, ITIF’s mission is to formulate and promote policy solutions that accelerate innovation and boost productivity to spur growth, opportunity, and progress.