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Belgian Competition Authority Launches Public Consultation on Digital Markets Act

  • 25/06/2024
  • News

On 24 June 2024, the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) launched a public consultation regarding the draft brochure entitled “The Digital Markets Act – a short guide for tech challengers” (the Draft Brochure).

The Draft Brochure is manifestly intended for an audience much wider than Belgium: the aim is to “raise awareness among tech entrepreneurs and digital business users about the opportunities opened up by the Digital Markets Act (DMA) to bring innovation to digital markets in Europe”.

The Draft Brochure includes sections discussing the goals of the DMA, the notions of gatekeeper and core platform services under the DMA, the application and enforcement of the DMA and the “opportunities offered by the DMA”. In the press release accompanying the Draft Brochure, the BCA explains that the primary aim of the public consultation is for the BCA to “gather more illustrations” of these opportunities.

The underlying message is clear: competition authorities intend to make full use of the new enforcement tools offered by the DMA and the BCA wants to play an active role in this process.

The presentation of the Draft Brochure and the start of the public consultation coincided with the ECN Digital Markets Act Conference 2024 which the Dutch competition authority organised in Amsterdam along with the European Commission and 7 further national competition authorities, including the BCA.

On that very day, the European Commission also advised Apple of its preliminary view that its App Store rules prevent app developers from freely steering consumers to alternative channels for offers and content, in alleged breach of the DMA. Apple faces a fine of up to 10% of its total worldwide turnover. In March of this year, Apple had already been fined EUR 1.8 billion, also on account of “anti-steering provisions” in its App Store rules, but this time under the competition rules (Article 102 TFEU).

The public consultation launched by the BCA runs until 19 July 2024. Contributions can be sent to the BCA via the dedicated e-mail address [email protected].

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