Major European media sector players have acknowledged the General Approach adopted by the council of the European Union on the Digital Markets Act but called for the addressing of remaining loopholes.
In a media release dated Nov. 25, signatories said the General Approach reflects the political consensus across member states calling for swift action to “rebalance the digital competitive environment in order to preserve a diverse, vivid and innovative media landscape.”
Signatories included the European Broadcasting Union, News Media Europe, the Association of European Radios, the European Publishers Council, the Association of Commercial Television and VOD Services in Europe, EMMA, ENPA and the Association of Television and Radio Sales Houses.
While the signatories commended the clarification that voice assistants are defined as online intermediation services, they insisted that, given their impact on the intermediation market, voice assistants should be considered core platform services.
They also pointed to other loopholes that “could undermine effective competition in the supply of media content to European audiences” and needed addressing. These included:
- Strengthening articles 6(1)i and 11 to ensure that gatekeepers (large online platforms) cannot circumvent the obligation to provide business users with access to non-personal and personal data.
- Ensuring the prohibition of self-preferencing also applies to practices other than ranking, as proposed by the European Parliament, and covers the preferential treatment of third parties chosen by the gatekeeper.
- Fair and non-discriminatory conditions of access: extending article 6(1)k to all core platform services, as proposed by the European Parliament.
- Obliging gatekeepers to provide granular, continuous and real-time information, therefore enabling a meaningful verification of the ad inventory.
Wouter Gekiere, head of the EBU’s Brussels office, said, “The recent Google Shopping judgment is further justification that action against self-preferencing by gatekeepers is a crucial tool to promote and protect fair competition. The media sector, however, believes that to be forward-looking, the DMA should also address self-preferencing practices that go beyond ranking.”
A spokesperson of EMMA and ENPA, EPC and NME, said, “Fairness and non-discrimination should become the guiding principles of the DMA regulations. All loopholes that would provide the gatekeepers with opportunities to disrespect or avoid these principles should be tackled by the co-legislators.”