Tech giants are likely to challenge a new European Union law aimed at reining in their power with the first cases in a potential spate of legal battles expected by the end of the year, one of the EU’s top judges said on Friday.
The Digital Markets Act (DMA), which came into force in November, will, among other things, classify online platforms with more than 45 million users as gatekeepers.
The gatekeepers – companies that control data and platform access – are subject to a list of imperatives, such as: B. the interoperability of their messaging services, and bans, including non-preferential treatment of their products and services on their platforms.
The list of gatekeepers to which the DMA will apply is due to be announced on September 6 and will likely include Alphabet’s Google, Meta, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft.
Those who disagree with the label and requirements are likely to take their complaint to the Luxembourg-based court within months, its president Marc van der Woude said.
The court is part of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and handles cases ranging from competition law to trade and the environment.
“Probably late this year, early next year we could see the first cases and I don’t think it will stop,” he told a conference organized by the European Commission.
Some, like Google and Apple, have campaigned heavily against the DMA.
“We remain concerned that some provisions of the DMA create unnecessary privacy and security vulnerabilities for our users, while others prohibit us from charging for intellectual property in which we invest heavily,” it said in March 2022.
Google has echoed those views, saying it’s also concerned the new rules could hamper innovation.
But van der Woude said the DMA is still evolving.
“It’s a living organism, this DMA, it’s under constant review, commitments are reviewed and legal acts are implemented. So if I may call it that, it’s going to be a lawyer’s paradise,” he said.
He said the points of contention will likely center on the gatekeeper’s naming, the specifications of their obligations and the enforcement of the DMA.
One area of contention is likely to be the requirement for gatekeepers to notify their acquisitions to the Commission and whether such deals meet the threshold for regulatory scrutiny, van der Woude said.
© Thomson Reuters 2023