Digital Markets Act: Adtech firms on major new tech law

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New technology laws, in the form of the European Digital Market Act, swung into action today, in what many see as a major change for good in how the largest tech firms allow competitiveness to exist within the digital world.

Major players such as Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Meta, and TikTok owner ByteDance, will now be known as ‘gatekeepers’ who must abide by strict rules in terms of access for smaller and up-and-coming tech players.

So we’ve been asking what will be the likely impact on adtech companies, advertisers and brands?…

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Emilie-Kuijt-appsflyerEmilie Kuijt, Data Protection Officer, AppsFlyer

“The DMA, although designed as competition legislation, will have an impact on the ecosystem through its provisions touching upon behavioural advertising.

“As it goes into effect, it seeks to enable individuals to assert more control over their data by choosing to provide their consent for data sharing to so-called “Gatekeepers” under the DMA.

“So, for those advertisers in the ecosystem that were not impacted by iOS14, or had not yet implemented GDPR consent mechanisms, this will be a first introduction to CMPs (consent management platforms).”

“As the DMA goes into effect, businesses will begin to see some immediate change, as end-users determine whether to share their data with technology ‘Gatekeepers.’

“Most importantly, brands and advertisers need to ensure that they are implementing the appropriate safeguards as needed for data sharing with Gatekeepers, and ensure that they are operating with transparency towards end users — a requirement now existing both under the GDPR and the DMA.

“These combined requirements will impose on advertisers a more privacy minded approach, evaluating the need for data use as privacy regulations will continue to play an essential role impacting the digital environment.

“Similarly with the GDPR, the effects can be immediately seen for those working closely with Gatekeepers, whilst the consumer will feel the consequences over time, as advertisers increasingly adapt to these changes.”

Anders-pilgaard-andersen-adformAnders Pilgaard Andersen, SVP General Counsel, Adform

“Overall, the DMA is a welcome addition to the marketing industry from a competitive perspective.

“Through the Act, the EU is trying to ensure that the so-called “gatekeepers” do not block access to the market for upcoming and new technologies, and so increasingly protect marketers from feeling forced into a closed walled garden.

“From Adform’s perspective, this new legal framework brings both a benefit to marketers, in continued access and innovation, but also a responsibility, to now leverage the smaller players’ offerings in their technology stack.

“I would encourage all marketers who currently rely on gatekeepers to reassess and challenge themselves and their expectations in alignment with their budgets.

“Indeed, brands who want to change the game when it comes to performance need to push themselves – and the gatekeepers – to drive truly strong competition and innovation for the benefit of the end users.”

Husna-GrimesHusna Grimes, VP Global Privacy, Permutive 

“The Digital Markets Act continues to evolve in line with the rapid pace of change in the digital market.

“It will be interesting to follow how these new rules are enforced in the courts, as we could see direct actions from businesses for damages due to non-compliance by DMA gatekeepers.

“Big tech companies will surely be monitoring progress of the recent damages claim filed against Google on behalf of over 30 EU publishers last month, which concerns the results of antitrust investigations regarding Google’s abuse of dominance in its ad tech practices.

“It’s possible therefore that the DMA will bring even more enforcement activity for those gatekeepers that don’t comply.

“But what does this mean for the wider digital industry?

“For consumers, increased transparency and consent requirements will give them greater control over how their personal data is used.

“Consumers and third parties will also likely benefit from the new rules around interoperability, given that arguments in favour of the DMA point to better consumer choice, innovation, and reduced prices.

“In terms of advertisers and publishers, they should benefit from enhanced information sharing obligations, enabling them to better measure and independently verify ad performance on gatekeepers’ platforms.

“However, there are concerns that opening up these platforms and sharing more information with third parties increases security risks that haven’t been adequately addressed by the Commission.

“Privacy and security shouldn’t be used as an excuse by gatekeepers for non-compliance though, as these new antitrust rules are important to level the playing field for the wider digital industry.

“The Commission clearly recognises that the DMA needs to be dynamic in order to reflect the pace of technological change in the digital market, so understanding and adapting the rules to resolve valid security concerns could form part of this process.”

Emir-Teffaha-equativEmir Teffaha, EVP Europe, Equativ

“The EU’s Digital Market Acts (DMA) is vital to ensure fair competition in the digital marketplace.

“Helping to prevent the abuses of tech giants, the regulation will protect consumers from potential harms – such as data privacy violations and unfair trading practices – while ensuring interoperability and fair access to platforms.

“In this way, the DMA will level the playing field for smaller players and foster fair competition which, in turn, should create a more dynamic environment and make room for the next generation of innovators.

This law ultimately demonstrates that EU legislators are forward-thinkers who place the user at the heart of everything they do.

“As such, I’m optimistic it will create numerous opportunities for brands, agencies, and innovative tech to deliver better advertising to the user by building secure, but open, environments such as advanced marketplaces.”

Dominic-Woolfe-EXTEDominic Woolfe, UK MD, EXTE

“With the Digital Market Act (DMA) taking effect, there’s a sense of anticipation and uncertainty regarding its potential impact on the digital market. This law represents a crucial moment in reshaping the digital landscape, particularly within digital advertising.

“It’s more than mere compliance; it’s a commitment to fostering an ecosystem that values fairness and innovation and ensures a level playing field for independent industry players for whom the dominance of walled gardens isn’t just about competition, but it calls into question the future of an open web.

“The industry’s primary goal should be to align with the DMA’s objectives, as this regulation marks a step towards better utilisation of customer data, with the enforcement of stricter privacy rules being a positive move for the broader marketing industry and consumers. While the precise impact on tech giants’ operations remains uncertain, this law signals a positive trajectory for the industry and consumers alike.

“Organisations should adapt their strategies to ensure not only compliance but also active participation in shaping a digital environment that meets the changing needs of businesses and consumers.”