EU Digital Markets Act Lays the Groundwork for Gatekeepers

November 2022

One of the European Union’s major pieces of legislation in the digital era, the Digital Markets Act (DMA), entered into force on 1 November 2022. It introduces ex-ante regulation—setting the ground rules for what is and is not acceptable in the digital markets—for large digital platforms and designates so-called “gatekeepers,” which will be subject to increased scrutiny.

The DMA will apply on 2 May 2023 following a six-month transition period. During this six-month period, the European Commission (Commission) will designate the gatekeepers. Gatekeeper obligations will then apply starting in March 2024.


There are 10 so-called “core platform services” that will be subject to the DMA’s provisions:

  1. Online intermediation services
  2. Online search engines
  3. Online social networking services
  4. Video-sharing platform services
  5. Messenger services (so-called “number-independent interpersonal communication services”)
  6. Operating systems
  7. Cloud computing services
  8. Online advertising services (including any advertising networks, advertising exchanges, and any other advertising intermediation services provided by an undertaking that provides any of the 10 core platform services)
  9. Web browsers
  10. Virtual assistants