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Public enforcement by the Commission

The European Commission is the main enforcer of the DMA. Indeed, it has sole jurisdiction to designate undertakings and core platform services as gatekeepers. The DMA also confers multiple enforcement powers on the Commission including investigatory powers, and the ability to require remedies or to impose penalties to ensure compliance.

Information gathering

Consistent with the Commission’s power under competition law, the Commission has the ability to send request for information and carry out inspections and interviews:

Requests for information

  • power to request, from any natural or legal person, information which it considers necessary for the investigation (this expressly includes data and algorithms) and to fix deadlines and sanctions for undertakings which provide incomplete, incorrect or misleading responses.

Inspections and interviews

  • power to examine and take copies of documents, seal premises, ask for oral explanations on the spot and conduct voluntary interviews. The Commission is expressly allowed to request access to documents, IT systems, algorithms, data-handling and business practices.

Enforcement powers

  • Interim measures
  • Settlement
  • Behavioural remedies to impose compliance with obligations
  • Structural remedies for recidivism
  • No infringement decisions
  • Fines

Fines and penalties

Substantive breaches

  • The Commission may impose fines of up to 10% of the gatekeeper’s annual worldwide turnover for the first infringement (art. 30.1), and up to 20% for repeated infringements (art. 30.2).

Procedural breaches (e.g. failure to comply with information requests)

  • Fines will amount up to 1% of total worldwide turnover of the gatekeeper (art. 30.3).

Periodic payments to compel compliance

  • Fines amounting up to 5% of average daily worldwide turnover of the gatekeeper can also be imposed for failure to comply with information requests, remedies for systematic infringements, inspections, interim measures, commitments and fines (art. 31).

More content on the DMA Hub

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Digital Markets Act Hub

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Scope: Designation of a gatekeeper

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Duties: Obligations under DMA

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Enforcement: Third party roles

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Including contributions from Diana Martinez and Balaji Subramanian.

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