On October 12, 2022, the EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (see here), giving clarity as to when the new rules will apply. The DMA will enter into force on November 1, 2022, and it will become fully applicable in May 2023. At that point, the gatekeeper designation process will start, and once designated, gatekeepers will have six months to comply with the DMA. This means that the DMA will only be fully enforceable against companies in spring 2024, likely around March.
What Is the DMA?
The DMA is a new form of ex-ante regulation that imposes far-reaching obligations on the largest digital platforms: the so-called “gatekeepers.” It gives the European Commission (EC) significant new enforcement powers, including the ability to impose severe fines and remedies for non-compliance. For more information about the major provisions of the DMA, please see our previous alert here.
When Will Gatekeepers Need to Comply?
The DMA received final approval from the EU’s co-legislators on July 18, 2022. Since then, the text of the law has not changed substantively. The DMA will enter into force on November 1, 2022, although companies will not need to comply with the act immediately, due to a transition period. Here is a preliminary timeline for compliance with the DMA:
- May 2, 2023: Date on which the DMA rules will start to apply, following the six months transition period from their entry into force on November 1, 2022.
- July 2, 2023: Date by which companies must have notified the EC if they meet the relevant thresholds to qualify as a “gatekeeper” at that time. The EC then has 45 working days to issue a gatekeeper designation decision.
- Summer/Fall 2023: Expected timing for the first gatekeeper designation decisions by the EC.
- Spring 2024: Expected date by which the first EC-designated gatekeepers will need to comply with the DMA (i.e., six months following the designation decision).