The role of national authorities in the Digital Markets Act

In Europe, the European Commission (the Commission) unveiled in December 2020 the Digital Markets Act (DMA). It aims at “ensuring fair and open digital markets” by applying an ex ante asymmetric regulation against large online platforms acting as “gatekeepers” in core platforms services with a list of eighteen interdictions and obligations, and in case of non-compliance, high fine, and potential divestiture. The Commission would be in charge of enforcing the regulation in which the Member States would only have a residual role. However, some Member States, national competition authorities, and scholars call for a greater role of national authorities in enforcing the regulation. When and how should NCAs enforce the DMA? The paper defines the role of national authorities in the DMA to help European policymakers understand when and how NCAs should enforce the DMA. Section II examines when NCAs should apply the DMA. By analyzing their actions from 2010 to 2021 and their staff, it argues that NCAs have the skills and resources and proposes three recommendations on when they should enforce it. Section III explores how NCAs should implement the DMA. By studying the institutional framework proposed by different regulations and experts, it argues that NCAs and the Commission can enforce together the regulation with other national competent authorities and suggests two recommendations on how they should enforce it. Section IV concludes.

I. Introduction 1. In Europe, the European Commission (the Commission) unveiled in December 2020 the Digital Markets Act (DMA). [1] It aims at “ensuring fair and open digital markets” by applying an ex ante asymmetric regulation against large online platforms acting as “gatekeepers” in core platforms services with a list of eighteen interdictions and obligations, and in case of non-compliance, high fine, and potential divestiture. The Commission would be in charge of enforcing the regulation in which the Member States would only have a residual role. However, some Member States, national competition authorities, and scholars call for a greater role of national authorities in enforcing the regulation. When and how should NCAs enforce the DMA? 2. The questions are crucial for

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Christophe Carugati, The role of national authorities in the Digital Markets Act, February 2022, Concurrences N° 1-2022, Art. N° 105100

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