With wonderful concern, we have in fact been observing the increasing power of digital platforms such as Google, Facebook or Amazon. These platforms manage main locations of the digital economy and use their market power to their own benefit, make up Ulrich Müller and Max Bank.
Ulrich Müller and Max Bank are researchers and advocates at LobbyControl, a non-profit association that advocates openness and democratic control.
We consider this concentration of economic power a necessary problem for democracy. Dominant companies can use their resources and financial impact to affect politics in their favor and undermine policy efforts to manage them.Big tech for instance invests substantial quantities on lobbying in Brussels and supports an entire variety of think tanks and associations in important policy fields. This threatens a well balanced political procedure. Democracy is incompatible with ever-growing monetary power imbalances.Therefore, we invite the increasing dispute on procedures to control the power of digital platforms. The EU-Commission’s Digital Markets Act( DMA )and the assistance for it from crucial member states and the European Parliament are positive signs.The ex-ante policies in the DMA are a get in the perfect instructions. If properly carried out, they can decrease the prospective abuse of gatekeeper power.However, in our view the DMA is not adequate to handle all-too powerful companies in the digital sector. To in fact minimize the troublesome concentration of financial power, to ensure reasonable competitors and to safeguard consumers, there is a need to surpass the behavioral focus in the DMA proposal.As originally planned in the DMA with the New Rivals Tool( NCT ), the EU must
include structural instruments to ex-ante standard. We think of the US Legislature ‘new antitrust proposals as a source of inspiration for Europe.The „ American Advancement and Option Online Act” resembles in part the European ex-ante approach.But it also puts a focus on structural options, such as divestitures if infractions of the guidelines are brought on by contrasting line of work. A mix of the European ex ante-approach and more ambitious structural procedures must be the way forward for the EU.There is also a requirement for more ambitious merger control. This has been highlighted currently in a recent letter of the ministers of financial affairs from France, the Netherlands and Germany. There are likewise calls from the European Parliament and from Civil Society to strengthen the DMA’s structural side.The existing arrangements simply put short article 12 of the DMA would not avoid killer acquisitions or extreme concentration of information( Google/Fitbit). There is a need to tighten the rules for acquisitions by dominant companies.It is time to tighten up the guidelines for acquisitions by dominant companies, both in the DMA, however also in the general merger control guidelines the Commission is set to review.Even though monopolistic structures are exceptionally bothersome in the digital sector, concentration of economic power is not a problem of the digital sector solely. On the contrary, vital sectors, such as funding or pharma, are severely focused, too.For that reason, we see a need for a brand-new instrument to separate all-too effective business throughout all sectors. This need is accepted by 27 German NGOs in a civil society statement.The declaration argues that behavioral solutions alone are inadequate to reduce the financial and political power that comes with market concentration. In this light, the signatories need a more powerful concentrate on structural steps, particularly divestures, to handle entrenched market positions.This call should be used up by the Commission, member states and the European Parliament. We need brand-new guidelines that allow separate of all-too-powerful corporations. Source