On 6 September, the European Commission officially designated six organizations as gatekeepers under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). Public service media welcome in particular the designation of the major video-sharing platform, social media, app stores, and operating systems. However, we also note that some digital services, which play a critical role for the distribution of media content have not been designated at this stage. Virtual assistants, operating systems for use in cars or connected TVs have emerged as powerful mediums for content distribution, revolutionizing the way people consume media. We hope that the European Commission will also assess the inclusion of such services in the scope of the DMA’s gatekeepers in the near future.
Wouter Gekiere, Head of the Brussels Office, EBU said: “The DMA will make the digital sector fairer and more competitive, limiting the market power of Big Tech. With this initial designation of gatekeepers, we are one step closer to compliance. Public service media are strong supporters of the DMA and have high hopes for its roll out. We stand ready to support the European Commission’s technical work on proper implementation and enforcement and we encourage EU officials to continue investigating potential gatekeepers.”
For next steps, public service media look towards the application of certain DMA provisions, in particular in the area of data access and sharing. Gatekeeper platforms are well known for guarding consumer information from business users that are providing them with goods and services. To know their audiences and understand how their content and services are being used, public service media needs timely and comprehensible data from the platforms.
The Digital Markets Act, alongside other EU legislation, could become a global forerunner on how to regulate big tech platforms in a way that respects personal privacy and enables a pluralistic media environment to thrive.