France, Netherlands Look to Regulate Large Digital Platforms
October 15, 2020
An EU authority must be able to regulate entrenched market positions of large digital platforms with the possibility of imposing both access obligations and behavioural obligations and prohibitions on a case-by-case basis. These considerations regarding so called gatekeeper or structuring platforms are published today in a non-paper by State Secretaries Cédric O (France, Digital Transition and Electronic Communications) and Mona Keijzer (The Netherlands, Economic Affairs and Climate Policy) which will be proposed to the European Commission.
These measures should apply to platforms that are unavoidable for businesses to reach their customers or for consumers to find certain products or services. Both State Secretaries propose, for example, the possibility for a European authority to prohibit these platforms from halting access to their services, unless they have an objective justification. Another possible measure is the prohibition of distortionary self-preferencing where digital platforms favour their own services above others. Beside these do’s and don’ts, the authority should also be in position to impose, through a fast process and based on a “tailor-made” approach more far-reaching access measures such as an obligation to share specific data, to ensure interoperability of their services or to proactively offer alternative options to their own services to users.
With this non-paper, France and The Netherlands are further elaborating on their ideas in order to contribute to a concrete proposal regarding this matter which the European Commission is expected to present in Q4 of this year.