Join SME efforts for fair competition in the digital markets!

  • With an open letter, digital SMEs, together with larger European tech companies operating in Europe, are asking for stronger rules on dominant “gatekeeper” firms in the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

  • The DMA is the new EU proposal on competition in digital services and devices, and will be debated & voted in the European Parliament and Council of the EU in the coming months.

  • The European DIGITAL SME Alliance calls on SMEs to raise their voice in support of open and competitive digital markets. Sign the open letter to the European Parliament & Council to express your support!

Together with a group of 24 technology firms, DIGITAL SME is signing an open letter for competitive digital markets. Raising awareness within the European Parliament on the need for a more balanced and open digital environment will be key to ensuring stringent rules for dominant “gatekeeper” platforms.

Today’s internet is dominated by services and products offered by a small number of dominant platforms, such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, among others. The so-called “gatekeeper” platforms govern access to information, to social networks, and to a large number of products and services offered via app stores, browsers, digital devices.

While many of these products and services have been beneficial to users, there is growing concern worldwide about the detrimental effects of the market power of those large platforms on the openness and contestability of digital markets and the internet as a whole.

Even when European innovative companies conceive better and more innovative products, they often need to go via the gatekeepers to reach customers. Sometimes, this access to customers may be restricted: Gatekeepers maintain their position through a lack of interoperability, forced bundling and self-preferencing – in effect creating a walled garden of services that locks out competition and innovation. Enforcing competition, consumer choice and interoperation with other service providers would allow European innovators to compete on the merits of their services.

“We are co-signing this letter to bring attention to the unbalanced relationship between smaller digital players and the large dominant digital companies”, said Dr. Oliver Grün, President of the European DIGITAL SME Alliance. “We believe that all companies should play by fair rules”.

Specifically, in the letter, we are calling for action on the following points:

  • An extension of the interoperability provision to all core platform services to improve efficiency for SMEs and make it easier for companies operating in Europe to compete with gatekeepers.
  • The introduction of an explicit ban on pre-installed apps and default settings allowing users to choose their own core services such as email, search and messaging apps.
  • The widening of the ban on bundling services with operating systems, to also include ancillary services. This, for instance, could ensure that platforms like Android or iOS will no longer be able to force users to sign up for additional Google and Apple products.

“More stringent requirements such as the extension of interoperability provisions, a ban of pre-installation and default settings as well as an extension of the bundling prohibition are key to unleashing Europe’s economic potential and empowering European tech companies to ultimately stand a chance for becoming global tech leaders”, said Dr. Grün.

The letter, signed by DIGITAL SME’s President Dr. Oliver Grün together with the CEOs of 21 technology firms operating in Europe, is addressed to hundreds of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and Council. The signatories draw attention to the importance of addressing these key points ahead of a key vote by the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) in the European Parliament on 8 November.

If you would like to support this cause, you can sign the letter here. For questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at office@digitalsme.eu.

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