Positive Competition hosts insightful DMA conference
Yesterday, Positive Competition had the pleasure of hosting an insightful conference on the Digital Markets Act (DMA), featuring stellar speakers Alberto Bacchiega, Director of the Digital Platforms Directorate at the European Commission’s DG Competition, Professor Jacques Cremer, from the Toulouse School of Economics, and founding partners Aleksandra and Xavier Boutin.
The audience witnessed an engaging and fruitful discussion on the implementation of the DMA and the role of economics. The first discussion focused on the scope of the Act. The speakers discussed the role of economics and the articulation between the DMA and Article 102 TFEU. Using the example of self-preferencing in Article 6(5) of the DMA, they reached a consensus on the need to interpret the provisions of the DMA narrowly, leaving more subtle cases to antitrust enforcement.
The discussion then focused on the implementation of the gatekeeper designation mechanism, in particular on the relevance of potential economic arguments that companies could use to object to a gatekeeper designation.
As the DMA also introduced certain elements that have the potential to significantly affect the established system of merger control within the European Union, the discussants touched upon the potential changes to the legal tests that this will entail. The debate on mergers reopened the question of the articulation between the different tools, ex-ante merger control versus ex-post antitrust enforcement, and national versus European enforcement. The speakers made it clear that the national competition authorities will be there to support the enforcement of the DMA, particularly in relation to mergers, but the main enforcer will be the European Commission.