AIM publishes statement on Council general approach / IMCO report for Digital Markets Act
Brussels, 25 November 2021– AIM, the European Brands Association, welcomes today’s adoption by EU ministers of a common position for a fair Digital Markets Act (DMA), following suit to the report adopted earlier this week by the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee laying out its stance on the draft legislation.
Several changes introduced in either the Council general approach or the IMCO report on the Commission’s DMA proposal are most welcome, notably:
- The inclusion in the Council’s text of the existence of a ‘conglomerate corporate structure’, or in the IMCO text of the ability to implement conglomerate strategies, among the qualitative criteria that the Commission may consider to designate platforms that have subsidiaries forming digital ecosystems as gatekeepers when they don’t meet the quantitative criteria to be designated automatically as such.
- The clarification added in the IMCO report, which the Council’s text fails to do, that business users can offer products and services on their own sales/distribution channels at different prices or conditions than those offered for sale on gatekeepers.
- The making of the prohibition to use data obtained from their business users to compete with them unconditional in the IMCO report by contrast to the Council’s text, which maintains its conditional character, in line with the Commission’s proposal.
AIM therefore calls upon members of the European Parliament to either maintain or incorporate those changes into the resolution that they will adopt in December, which will set out the Parliament’s negotiation position on this draft bill.
AIM has reservations, however, over several suggestions made or elements retained in either the Council’s text or the IMCO report and which we’d urge MEPs to disregard or amend in their final resolution to be voted in plenary, notably:
- Sticking to a close list of ‘core platform services’, in both the Council’s text and IMCO report, that can be designated as gatekeepers as opposed to an open list, which would enable to capture gatekeepers’ online retail and 1P model services among others as well as to make the DMA more future-proof, as new online business models develop.
- Maintaining the conditional character of the ban on self-preferencing in ranking, in both the Council’s text and IMCO report, instead of rendering it unconditional.
- Maintaining the conditional character of the access to business users’ (sales) data generated on gatekeepers’ platforms, in both the Council’s text and IMCO report, instead of rendering it unconditional.
- Failing to add, in both the Council’s text and IMCO report, a further obligation to provide business users with the algorithm’s main parameters of aggregation, selection and presentation of products and services, as advocated by the EP Industry (ITRE) Committee in its own opinion on the DMA.
We urge MEPs to factor in these views as they consider potential amendments to the IMCO report on the DMA in plenary. “Amendments along those lines would ensure the future-proofness of the DMA and its ability to capture and effectively address gatekeepers’ practices whose conduct may turn out to be unfair now and in the future. It would also avoid loopholes and shifts in gatekeepers’ distribution business models that would leave them unregulated,” observed Michelle Gibbons, Director-General of AIM.
AIM calls, moreover, on MEPs to add a Recital in their final resolution providing needed specification and granularity as to which types of data must be provided by gatekeepers to their business users so they are able to understand how their products get sold on gatekeeper platforms and can improve their offer, invest in new products, as well as adapt to market needs and evolution accordingly.
For further information, please contact: Amaury Libbrecht
Tel: +32 2 736 03 05 • Email: email@example.com
AIM (Association des Industries de Marque) is the European Brands Association, which represents manufacturers of branded consumer goods in Europe on key issues that affect their ability to design, distribute and market their brands. AIM’s membership comprises 2500 businesses ranging from SMEs to multinationals, directly or indirectly through its corporate and national association members.