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Competition in digital markets

Big Tech companies such as Google, Apple or Amazon control access to online platforms and digital ecosystems. They often strengthen their own market position by impeding competitors and restricting consumers’ freedom of choice.

For instance, they give preferential treatment to their own products and services or excessively collect consumers’ data. This weakens competition, hampers innovation and leads to higher consumer prices (also in the form of data).

After the reform of German competition rules (GWB Digitalisation Act), the European Commission’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) is the next step in the right direction. It aims to impose self-executing obligations on gatekeeper platforms, to prohibit unfair treatment of users and practices undermining competition in markets, such as self-preferencing.

This increases consumers’ choice, for example when gatekeeper platforms may no longer prevent consumers from deleting pre-installed software applications or using alternative app stores.

vzbv demands

  • a swift implementation of the DMA to prevent further damage to competition and consumers
  • European Commission must be able to take faster and more flexible action against gatekeepers
  • a prohibition of designs that manipulate user decisions (“dark patterns”)
  • when it comes to decisions about gatekeepers, consumer representatives must have a right to be heard and to access to files
  • a prohibition of tying and bundling as well as interoperability obligations must apply to all gatekeeper-services

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Ex ante regulatory instrument for large online plattforms and a new competition tool | Feedback of vzbv | 8 September 2020

Ex ante regulatory instrument for large online plattforms and a new competition tool | Feedback of vzbv | 8 September 2020

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