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Opening Keynote Speech
Olivier Guersent will address four topics: the Digital Markets Act (DMA), the review of the market definition Notice, antitrust on labour markets, and the issue of environmental benefits of agreements.
First of all, it should be stressed that the DMA cannot be dissociated from the Digital Services Act (DSA). The DMA is inspired by competition enforcement mostly in the area of Article 102 and is therefore asymmetrical, whereas the DSA is symmetrical and is about everything you don’t want to see on the web and in the internet world, not just for big business but for everyone. The adoption of the DMA does not mean that competition law has not done a good job in recent years, Olivier Guersent even considers that with the European Competition Network, Europe has been at the forefront of competition law enforcement in the technology sector. However, he points out that competition law has always come too late. For example, in the first Microsoft browser case, it took only six months for the introduction of Internet Explorer in Windows to kill the incumbent Netscape, whereas it took the Commission five years to reach a final decision. The large fine imposed on Microsoft in this context did not, however, revive Netscape and therefore did not revive competition. This same pattern was subsequently observed in numerous cases involving dominant platforms and it was thus found that when such behaviour is implemented by incumbents with a gatekeeper function, it is always detrimental and competition enforcement cannot prevent irremediable damage from being done. The conclusion was therefore as follows: Let’s ban it altogether. In its simplest form, this is what the DMA is about. For this text to work, it must of course be clear who these gatekeepers are and what is and is not expected of them. In addition, for the DMA to be effective, it must also be possible to change the list of dos and don’ts relatively quickly. Finally, it must be complementary to, and not a substitute for, competition law. It is actually not expected that the DMA should lead to a lesser application of Article 102 in the field of technology.