New European regulation for digital services and markets (DSA and DMA)

European regulation for digital services and markets DSA/DMA

The EU has passed legislation that aims to (1) create a safer digital space for users and (2) create a more level playing field for businesses, namely the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

How do the DSA and DMA apply?

These rules apply to digital services. Digital services can include many types of online services, from simple websites to Internet infrastructure services and online platforms. We use them in our lives to communicate, listen to music, watch movies, order food. Businesses, for their part, use them for cross-border trade and give them access to new markets.

With this regulation, the EU aims to regulate and curb problems such as the exchange of illegal goods, services and content online or the use of algorithms to spread false and harmful information. It also aims to prevent large platforms that control the digital ecosystem from using their privileged position to impose unfair rules, thus harming both businesses and consumers, as they have less choice of services on the market.

What do these rules cover?

DSA – Digital Services Act

According to the DSA itself, it will apply to information society service providers known as intermediaries, in particular intermediary services consisting of services known as “mere conduit”, “caching” and “data hosting” services. In other words, they would include:

  • Intermediary services that provide a network infrastructure and include Internet access providers or domain name registrars.
  • Hosting services that refer to hosting services, which include, among others:
    • Web hosting (Amazon Web Services)
    • Cloud computing (Google Drive, OneDrive)
    • Online platforms bringing together purchasers and sellers including marketplaces (Vinted)
    • Social networking (Facebook, Instagram)
    • Search engines (Google)
    • Online platforms and search engines that are very large in size (more than 45 million users which means 10% of the European population)


DMA – Digital Markets Act

Some large online platforms act as “gatekeepers” in digital markets. The aim of this Regulation is to ensure that these platforms behave fairly online.

By “gatekeepers”, we mean those online platforms that have a systemic role in the market, i.e. they act as bottlenecks between businesses and consumers. The DMA itself sets out the criteria for qualifying the online platform as a “gatekeeper”. Examples are YouTube, Amazon, Apple or Google.

So: All online intermediaries offering their services in the single market, whether they are established in the EU or outside the EU, will have to comply with these rules.

Micro and small businesses will have obligations proportionate to their capacity and size and if they grow significantly they will be granted a specific exemption from a set of obligations for a transitional period of 12 months.

What are the dates to be taken into account with regard to these regulations?

 DSA – Digital Services Act

  • Entry into force: 16 November 2022
  • Applicable: February 2024 (15 months after entry into force)

By 17 February 2023:

  • online platforms must have published the number of active users:
    • If they have more than 45 million users (10% of the European population) they are deemed to be a very large online platform or a very large online search engine. This implies that they will have 4 months to fulfil the DPA.
  • EU Member States will have to appoint digital services coordinators.
  • On this date the DSA will be applicable to all obliged entities, regardless of the number of active users they have.

DMA – Digital Markets Act

  • Entry into force: 1 November 2022
  • Applicable: February 2024 (15 months after entry into force).

By 3 February 2023 companies had to provide the Commission with information on their number of users so that the Commission can designate whether it is a “gatekeeper” by 6 September 2023. Access gatekeepers will then have until March 2024 to ensure that they fulfil their WFD obligations.


Artículo escrito por:

Adriana RanchalAdriana Ranchal

Privacy & IP lawyer



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