Economic thinking and analysis lie at the heart of the objectives and the design of the EU Digital Markets Act. However, the design of the DMA reflects a very deliberate—and reasonable—intention to ensure clarity, speed, administrability, and enforceability. In doing so, this procompetitive regulation omits several elements of standard competition law where economics has typically played a key role. Nonetheless, we believe that economic insights and analysis—including behavioural economic thinking—will continue to play an important role in enabling the DMA to achieve its ambitious and laudable goals, albeit in a somewhat different way.
The Commission is charged with implementing the Digital Markets Act (DMA). Based on economic and legal reasoning, this paper asks how the Commission can fulfil this challenging task effectively. We make recommendations about how the Commission might prioritize cases, design optimal internal work structures, maximize the compliance mechanism’s effectiveness, avoid reinventing at least some wheels by leaning on antitrust tools and knowledge, and leveraging the Commission’s concurrent antitrust and regulatory powers to ensure the speedy and effective resolution of current and future investigations.