15 December, 2020

Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act: Statement of the European telecoms industry

Brussels, 15 December 2020 – The European telecommunications industry welcomes today’s announcements by the European Commission. We are optimistic that the EU can set the global standard for competitive, non-discriminatory, responsible and fair digital markets with today’s publication of the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA). The European Union has a leadership opportunity to address problematic digital platform markets while making our societies more inclusive, with benefits for European citizens and companies of all sizes.

DSA: protect EU citizens and restore trust online

The Digital Services Act has the potential to restore citizens’ trust online and become a steppingstone to protect EU citizens by requiring that all service providers – regardless of their place of establishment – abide to certain standards if they want to offer their content, goods or services within the European Union.

In this context, we welcome the Commission’s recognition that some digital actors have an increased responsibility to keep digital services free from illegal material and ensure that the Rule of Law is respected online with the same rigour as it is offline. We believe it is possible to achieve this goal while respecting internet freedoms and protecting the basic principles enshrined in the eCommerce Directive (i.e., country of origin; limited liability for online intermediaries; prohibition of general monitoring obligations).

DMA: better digital markets that deliver for citizens

The Digital Markets Act is an important starting point to build competitive, fairer and more innovative digital markets, by mitigating the imbalance of power between a few large gatekeeping platforms and their users and competitors. The set-up of a swift and flexible intervention mechanism is essential to tackle entrenched dominance where competition law failed to ensure competitive digital markets.

The European telecoms industry shares the Commission’s concerns about anticompetitive conducts by a few large digital players acting as gatekeepers, which stifle opportunities for competitors and ultimately have a chilling effect on consumers and innovation. We look forward for the DMA to put forth a bold ex-ante regulatory framework for digital markets, along with a review of the competition policy toolbox to face the changing dynamics of the digital economy.

An ambitious DMA has the potential to lead the way, globally, in defining better market dynamics in the field of digital services, including cloud, operating systems, app stores, search and many other crucial tools. Ultimately, we can create competitive and innovative markets that deliver superior results for citizens in Europe and worldwide.

Read our joint position paper: ETNO website | GSMA website

Policy inquiries: Paolo Grassia, ETNO | Pierantonio Rizzo, GSMA

Media inquiries: Alessandro Gropelli, ETNO | Noelle Knox, GSMA

© ETNO 2021
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