Digital Markets

The Digital Markets Working Group (DM WG) is putting efforts in fostering independent, consistent and high-quality regulation of electronic communications services and digital markets. A relevant part of work contributes to supporting fairer, more open and contestable digital markets by providing advice and applying experience to the set-up of the current and future regulation of digital platforms. In all aspects, the DM WG of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) is operating to promote sustainable and open digital markets for the benefit of Europe and its citizens.

Working Group Co-chairs

The image shows Chiara Caccinelli, Co-chair of the BEREC Digital Markets Working Group
The image shows Margarida Melo Santos, Co-chair of the BEREC Digital Markets Working Group

Chiara Caccinelli

Arcep, France

Margarida Melo Santos

ANACOM, Portugal

Work in 2023

In 2023, the DM WG will work on related topics, based on the BEREC Work Programme 2023.

BEREC Report on interoperability for number-independent interpersonal communication services

Interoperability is the ability of two or more systems or components to exchange information and use it to work together. The use of Number-Independent Interpersonal Communication Services (NI-ICS) has drastically increased, and these have become a crucial means of communication for different users in Europe. Most NI-ICS exhibit very strong proprietary network effects, as users can typically communicate only with other users of the same service. In order to unleash and share such network effects among several providers, interoperability obligations for specific NI-ICS providers are included under Article 7 of Regulation (EU) 2022/1925 of the European Parliament and of the Council on contestable and fair markets in the digital sector – the 'Digital Markets Act' (DMA) and, with a focus on ensuring end-to-end connectivity, under Article 61(2) of Directive (EU) 2018/1972 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Electronic Communications Code – the 'EECC'.

In the report, BEREC explores and analyses the objectives, the scope and the “triggers” of interoperability obligations under both the DMA and the EECC, the potential technical approaches and the implementation challenges to be taken into account when applying these measures, as well the interplay between the two regulatory instruments (DMA and EECC).

BEREC Report on the entry of large content and application providers into the markets for electronic communications networks and services

In the last decades, large Content and Application Providers (CAPs) have become the most prominent actors in the Internet ecosystem. Such companies provide Internet-based services and platforms related to a significant variety of different elements in the Internet ecosystem (from applications to Internet access networks).

In the report, BEREC seeks to identify the elements in which large CAPs have been increasingly investing and their strategies to move upwards along the value chain, and depict the dynamics of competition and/or cooperation between electronic communication networks/electronic communication services providers and large CAPs. For its analysis, BEREC will focus on three to four case studies of specific services and networks.

BEREC’s role in supporting sustainable and open digital markets

In the last years, BEREC’s work has shown how a small number of digital platforms have reached a position allowing them to shape both the competition dynamics on different markets and the conditions under which content, services and information can be accessed and shared.

Throughout the year, BEREC’s analysis will include multiple actions. On the one hand, BEREC will assist the European Commission (EC) by means of advice, expertise and recommendations relating to the implementation or enforcement of the DMA, and in particular of Article 7. On the other hand, BEREC will keep monitoring and analysing the developments of digital markets and the impact and effects of the practices implemented by large online platforms. Moreover, BEREC will pay special attention to those practices which may not be addressed/covered by the current legislations/legislative initiatives.

Why is this important?

In recent years, digital platforms have increasingly become key actors in the European economy, by supporting social interaction and citizen participation. They have brought important benefits in terms of innovation, end-user choice and a wide range of efficiencies by reducing transaction, search and distribution costs for end-users and businesses. However, given some economic specificities (such as networks effects and economies of scale and scope) and the fact that they provide an ecosystem of services and products, large digital platforms have the possibility and may have the incentive to use their market power and engage in unfair practices, that can undermine contestability and negatively impact businesses and end-users.

To tackle the aforementioned issues, the EC initiated the regulation of digital markets and services. On 1 November 2022, the DMA entered into force. BEREC has actively contributed to the discussions of the DMA and aims to continue its work on the digital platforms.