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EU Digital Market Regulations Under Scrutiny

Feb 22, 2021   |   MIT IDE

"While the unending COVID-19 pandemic and U.S. presidential election turmoil stole headlines late last year, the European Union (EU) was also making news in the heated area of digital markets. Online platform regulation, access, and oversight were center stage as economic experts reviewed the European Commission (EC) proposal for a Digital Markets Act (DMA)," reports MIT IDE in a Q&A with Dartmouth Engineering Professor Geoffrey Parker.

"The panel offered an economic opinion on the DMA and Digital Services (DSA) Acts, which were unveiled by the EC in December 2020. The acts were described as 'a paradigm shift in the regulation of online platforms in Europe,' calling for 'robust regulation that will stimulate debate, innovation, and fairness in the digital economy, as well as ensure a safer and trusted Internet where fundamental rights are respected.' The panel’s response, The EU Digital Markets Act: A report from a Panel of Economic Experts, was issued in February. The goal is described as follows. 'This report presents an independent economic opinion on the DMA, from a high-level Panel of Economic Experts, established by the JRC [Joint Research Centre] and based on existing economic research and evidence.'"

..."'The idea was to have a panel explain the economics behind the DMA and to comment on the proposals. It's very timely in light of the recent problems with fake news during elections as well as accountability by social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Under the proposal, all online intermediaries offering services and content in the EU, whether they are established in the EU or not, have to comply with the new standards. Small companies will have obligations proportionate to their ability and size, but also remain accountable,'" explained Parker, who served on the panel along with other global platform experts.

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