The European Commission’s Digital Markets Act proposal is set to reshape how digital businesses operate in Europe and reset the rules of the game for those providing and using digital services.

The new rules would regulate online “gatekeepers” that, in the words of Commissioners Vestager and Breton, are “systemically relevant”. But by overturning how digital gatekeepers can operate their eco-systems, deal with the businesses active on their platforms and provide access to key inputs and IP, the rules could impact all companies doing business in Europe’s digital economy.

The proposals have, unsurprisingly, generated significant controversy. The Commission suggests that the rules will deliver over €2 trillion of benefits in the next decade. The US Chamber of Commerce has expressed its concerns that the new rules target American companies almost exclusively”And academics have pointed to a significant break with existing economic regulatory policy towards a far more interventionist approach in digital markets.

We have already summarised the content of the rules and looked a bit more closely at the platforms which are likely to be caught.

But, when you scratch the surface, you see that the DMA raises a host of fundamental questions. What would be the practical implications for digital markets? How does the DMA fit with existing economic regulation and, in particular, competition law? How will the proposal impact digital markets policy in the EU and beyond?

We have prepared a more extensive Briefing Paper which discusses some of those issues in detail. The issues discussed are likely to form the basis of fierce debate on the proposed rules in the years to come and will shape what ultimately makes it to the legislative rulebook.