Suggested DMA Amendments on Interoperability
The proposed amendment below would extend the interoperability obligation of Article
61)(f) to cover core services in addition to the ancil ary services in the Digital Markets
Act, and make explicit this benefit also applies to end-users.
Interoperability is the basic principle on which the internet was built. It is a technical
mechanism for computing systems to work together, even if they are from competing
firms. Wel -known examples of interoperability include e-mail, telephone voice and
messaging services. Interoperability on the platform layer is increasingly limited, or
exclusively provided within gatekeepers’ own ecosystems. The DMA has the potential
of bringing positive economic effects across the platform markets, and not just provide
interoperability when it suits the gatekeepers’ business interests.
Interoperability used in the DMA as a pro-competitive tool would limit the network
effects that protect incumbents and exclude chal enger firms. It is a tried and tested
competition tool. Legal and regulatory pressure for increased interoperability in digital
markets in the past (such as the European Commission’s case in the browser market)
enabled the current gatekeepers to scale and compete.
The Commission’s proposal of an interoperability obligation for gatekeepers relating to
ancil ary services is a good start, but extending the provision to core platform services
would lower barriers to entry and increase competition across the platform market.
This extension would fuel competition and innovation by enabling smal and
medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to enter markets that would otherwise be closed off
to them by digital gatekeepers. If those gatekeepers are obliged to interoperate with
competitors, SMEs can unleash new innovation and directly offer it to the existing user
bases of those gatekeepers.
Including the core services in the interoperability provisions would help create digital
markets where platforms would compete on the merits of their services. Such
enhanced competition would ultimately favour Europe’s digital sovereignty, by
supporting new market entrants from Europe. In this, we see interoperability as the
most important pro-market and pro-innovation policy tool for the DMA to achieve
competitive and innovative digital markets.
(f) allow business users and providers of ancillary
(f) allow business users, end users
and providers of
services access to and interoperability with the same
ancillary services access to and interoperability with
operating system, hardware or software features that
the same operating system, hardware or software
are available or used in the provision by the
features that are available or used in the provision by
gatekeeper of any ancillary services;
the gatekeeper of any ancillary services or
industry-standard features of its core platform
Interoperability requirements should apply to gatekeepers’ core platform services as well as their ancillary
services, in order to generate competition in these key digital markets, many of which have already tipped
towards monopoly or duopoly in many Member States. The requirements should apply to functionality already
standard in those core platform services, to retain an incentive for gatekeepers to innovate. Business and end
users should beneﬁt from interoperability, so people in the EU as well as businesses gain a genuine choice of
tools for instant messaging, social media, and other core platform services, regardless of the choices of their
friends, family, and colleagues.
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blockchain, cloud computing and IoT. Views expressed by OFE do not necessarily reflect those held by al
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