Digi­tal Mar­kets Act

Erwä­gungs­grün­de


(1) Digi­tal ser­vices in gene­ral and online plat­forms in par­ti­cu­lar play an incre­a­sing­ly important role in the eco­no­my, in par­ti­cu­lar in the inter­nal mar­ket, by enab­ling busi­nesses to reach users throug­hout the Uni­on, by faci­li­ta­ting cross-bor­der trade and by ope­ning enti­re­ly new busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties to a lar­ge num­ber of com­pa­nies in the Uni­on to the bene­fit of con­su­mers in the Uni­on.

(2) At the same time, among tho­se digi­tal ser­vices, core plat­form ser­vices fea­ture a num­ber of cha­rac­te­ri­stics that can be exploi­ted by the under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding them. An exam­p­le of such cha­rac­te­ri­stics of core plat­form ser­vices is extre­me sca­le eco­no­mies, which often result from near­ly zero mar­gi­nal costs to add busi­ness users or end users. Other such cha­rac­te­ri­stics of core plat­form ser­vices are very strong net­work effects, an abili­ty to con­nect many busi­ness users with many end users through the mul­ti­sided­ness of the­se ser­vices, a signi­fi­cant degree of depen­dence of both busi­ness users and end users, lock-in effects, a lack of mul­ti-homing for the same pur­po­se by end users, ver­ti­cal inte­gra­ti­on, and data dri­ven-advan­ta­ges. All the­se cha­rac­te­ri­stics, com­bi­ned with unfair prac­ti­ces by under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding the core plat­form ser­vices, can have the effect of sub­stan­ti­al­ly under­mi­ning the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of the core plat­form ser­vices, as well as impac­ting the fair­ness of the com­mer­cial rela­ti­on­ship bet­ween under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding such ser­vices and their busi­ness users and end users. In prac­ti­ce, this leads to rapid and poten­ti­al­ly far-rea­ching decrea­ses in busi­ness users’ and end users’ choice, and the­r­e­fo­re can con­fer on the pro­vi­der of tho­se ser­vices the posi­ti­on of a so-cal­led gate­kee­per. At the same time, it should be reco­g­nis­ed that ser­vices which act in a non-com­mer­cial pur­po­se capa­ci­ty such as col­la­bo­ra­ti­ve pro­jects should not be con­side­red as core plat­form ser­vices for the pur­po­se of this Regu­la­ti­on.

(3) A small num­ber of lar­ge under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices have emer­ged with con­sidera­ble eco­no­mic power that could qua­li­fy them to be desi­gna­ted as gate­kee­pers pur­su­ant to this Regu­la­ti­on. Typi­cal­ly, they fea­ture an abili­ty to con­nect many busi­ness users with many end users through their ser­vices, which, in turn, enables them to levera­ge their advan­ta­ges, such as their access to lar­ge amounts of data, from one area of acti­vi­ty to ano­ther. Some of tho­se under­ta­kings exer­cise con­trol over who­le plat­form eco­sy­stems in the digi­tal eco­no­my and are struc­tu­ral­ly extre­me­ly dif­fi­cult to chall­enge or con­test by exi­sting or new mar­ket ope­ra­tors, irre­spec­ti­ve of how inno­va­ti­ve and effi­ci­ent tho­se mar­ket ope­ra­tors may be. Con­test­a­bi­li­ty is redu­ced in par­ti­cu­lar due to the exi­stence of very high bar­riers to ent­ry or exit, inclu­ding high invest­ment costs, which can­not, or not easi­ly, be recup­er­a­ted in case of exit, and the absence of, or redu­ced access to, some key inputs in the digi­tal eco­no­my, such as data. As a result, the likeli­hood increa­ses that the under­ly­ing mar­kets do not func­tion well, or will soon fail to func­tion well.

(4) The com­bi­na­ti­on of tho­se fea­tures of gate­kee­per is likely to lead, in many cases, to serious imba­lan­ces in bar­gai­ning power and, con­se­quent­ly, to unfair prac­ti­ces and con­di­ti­ons for busi­ness users, as well as for end users of core plat­form ser­vices pro­vi­ded by gate­kee­pers, to the detri­ment of pri­ces, qua­li­ty, fair com­pe­ti­ti­on, choice and inno­va­ti­on in the digi­tal sec­tor.

(5) It fol­lows that the mar­ket pro­ce­s­ses are often inca­pa­ble of ensu­ring fair eco­no­mic out­co­mes with regard to core plat­form ser­vices. Alt­hough Artic­les 101 and 102 of the Trea­ty on the Func­tio­ning of the Euro­pean Uni­on (TFEU) app­ly to the con­duct of gate­kee­pers, the scope of tho­se pro­vi­si­ons is limi­t­ed to cer­tain instances of mar­ket power, for exam­p­le domi­nan­ce on spe­ci­fic mar­kets and of anti-com­pe­ti­ti­ve beha­viour, and enforce­ment occurs ex post and requi­res an exten­si­ve inve­sti­ga­ti­on of often very com­plex facts on a case by case basis. Moreo­ver, exi­sting Uni­on law does not address, or does not address effec­tively, the chal­lenges to the effec­ti­ve func­tio­ning of the inter­nal mar­ket posed by the con­duct of gate­kee­pers that are not neces­s­a­ri­ly domi­nant in com­pe­ti­ti­on-law terms.

(6) Gate­kee­pers have a signi­fi­cant impact on the inter­nal mar­ket, pro­vi­ding gate­ways for a lar­ge num­ber of busi­ness users to reach end users ever­y­whe­re in the Uni­on and on dif­fe­rent mar­kets. The adver­se impact of unfair prac­ti­ces on the inter­nal mar­ket and the par­ti­cu­lar­ly weak con­test­a­bi­li­ty of core plat­form ser­vices, inclu­ding the nega­ti­ve socie­tal and eco­no­mic impli­ca­ti­ons of such unfair prac­ti­ces, have led natio­nal legis­la­tors and sec­to­ral regu­la­tors to act. A num­ber of regu­la­to­ry solu­ti­ons have alre­a­dy been adopted at natio­nal level or pro­po­sed to address unfair prac­ti­ces and the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of digi­tal ser­vices or at least with regard to some of them. This has crea­ted diver­gent regu­la­to­ry solu­ti­ons which results in the frag­men­ta­ti­on of the inter­nal mar­ket, thus rai­sing the risk of increa­sed com­pli­ance costs due to dif­fe­rent sets of natio­nal regu­la­to­ry requi­re­ments.

(7) The­r­e­fo­re, the pur­po­se of this Regu­la­ti­on is to con­tri­bu­te to the pro­per func­tio­ning of the inter­nal mar­ket by lay­ing down rules to ensu­re con­test­a­bi­li­ty and fair­ness for the mar­kets in the digi­tal sec­tor in gene­ral, and for busi­ness users and end users of core plat­form ser­vices pro­vi­ded by gate­kee­pers in par­ti­cu­lar. Busi­ness users and end users of core plat­form ser­vices pro­vi­ded by gate­kee­pers should be affor­ded appro­pria­te regu­la­to­ry safe­guards throug­hout the Uni­on against the unfair prac­ti­ces of gate­kee­pers, in order to faci­li­ta­te cross-bor­der busi­ness within the Uni­on and ther­eby impro­ve the pro­per func­tio­ning of the inter­nal mar­ket, and to eli­mi­na­te exi­sting or likely emer­ging frag­men­ta­ti­on in the spe­ci­fic are­as cover­ed by this Regu­la­ti­on. Moreo­ver, while gate­kee­pers tend to adopt glo­bal or at least pan-Euro­pean busi­ness models and algo­rith­mic struc­tures, they can adopt, and in some cases have adopted, dif­fe­rent busi­ness con­di­ti­ons and prac­ti­ces in dif­fe­rent Mem­ber Sta­tes, which is lia­ble to crea­te dis­pa­ri­ties bet­ween the com­pe­ti­ti­ve con­di­ti­ons for the users of core plat­form ser­vices pro­vi­ded by gate­kee­pers, to the detri­ment of inte­gra­ti­on of the inter­nal mar­ket.

(8) By appro­xi­mat­ing diver­ging natio­nal laws, it is pos­si­ble to eli­mi­na­te obs­ta­cles to the free­dom to pro­vi­de and recei­ve ser­vices, inclu­ding retail ser­vices, within the inter­nal mar­ket. A tar­ge­ted set of har­mo­ni­s­ed legal obli­ga­ti­ons should the­r­e­fo­re be estab­lished at Uni­on level to ensu­re con­test­a­ble and fair digi­tal mar­kets fea­turing the pre­sence of gate­kee­pers within the inter­nal mar­ket to the bene­fit of the Union’s eco­no­my as a who­le and ulti­m­ate­ly of the Union’s con­su­mers.

(9) Frag­men­ta­ti­on of the inter­nal mar­ket can only effec­tively be aver­ted if Mem­ber Sta­tes are pre­ven­ted from app­ly­ing natio­nal rules which are within the scope of and pur­sue the same objec­ti­ves as this Regu­la­ti­on. That does not pre­clude the pos­si­bi­li­ty of app­ly­ing to gate­kee­pers within the mea­ning of this Regu­la­ti­on other natio­nal rules which pur­sue other legi­ti­ma­te public inte­rest objec­ti­ves as set out in the TFEU or which pur­sue over­ri­ding rea­sons of public inte­rest as reco­g­nis­ed by the case law of the Court of Justi­ce of the Euro­pean Uni­on (‘the Court of Justi­ce’).

(10) At the same time, sin­ce this Regu­la­ti­on aims to com­ple­ment the enforce­ment of com­pe­ti­ti­on law, it should app­ly wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to Artic­les 101 and 102 TFEU, to the cor­re­spon­ding natio­nal com­pe­ti­ti­on rules and to other natio­nal com­pe­ti­ti­on rules regar­ding uni­la­te­ral con­duct that are based on an indi­vi­dua­li­sed assess­ment of mar­ket posi­ti­ons and beha­viour, inclu­ding its actu­al or poten­ti­al effects and the pre­cise scope of the pro­hi­bi­ted beha­viour, and which pro­vi­de for the pos­si­bi­li­ty of under­ta­kings to make effi­ci­en­cy and objec­ti­ve justi­fi­ca­ti­on argu­ments for the beha­viour in que­sti­on, and to natio­nal rules con­cer­ning mer­ger con­trol. Howe­ver, the appli­ca­ti­on of tho­se rules should not affect the obli­ga­ti­ons impo­sed on gate­kee­pers under this Regu­la­ti­on and their uni­form and effec­ti­ve appli­ca­ti­on in the inter­nal mar­ket.

(11) Artic­les 101 and 102 TFEU and the cor­re­spon­ding natio­nal com­pe­ti­ti­on rules con­cer­ning anti­com­pe­ti­ti­ve mul­ti­la­te­ral and uni­la­te­ral con­duct as well as mer­ger con­trol have as their objec­ti­ve the pro­tec­tion of undis­tor­ted com­pe­ti­ti­on on the mar­ket. This Regu­la­ti­on pur­sues an objec­ti­ve that is com­ple­men­ta­ry to, but dif­fe­rent from that of pro­tec­ting undis­tor­ted com­pe­ti­ti­on on any given mar­ket, as defi­ned in com­pe­ti­ti­on-law terms, which is to ensu­re that mar­kets whe­re gate­kee­pers are pre­sent are and remain con­test­a­ble and fair, inde­pendent­ly from the actu­al, poten­ti­al or pre­su­med effects of the con­duct of a given gate­kee­per cover­ed by this Regu­la­ti­on on com­pe­ti­ti­on on a given mar­ket. This Regu­la­ti­on the­r­e­fo­re aims to pro­tect a dif­fe­rent legal inte­rest from that pro­tec­ted by tho­se rules and it should app­ly wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to their appli­ca­ti­on.

(12) This Regu­la­ti­on should also app­ly wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the rules resul­ting from other acts of Uni­on law regu­la­ting cer­tain aspects of the pro­vi­si­on of ser­vices cover­ed by this Regu­la­ti­on, in par­ti­cu­lar Regu­la­ti­ons (EU) 2016/679 (4) and (EU) 2019/1150 (5) of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and of the Coun­cil and a Regu­la­ti­on on a sin­gle mar­ket for digi­tal ser­vices, and Direc­ti­ves 2002/58/EC (6), 2005/29/EC (7), 2010/13/EU (8), (EU) 2015/2366 (9), (EU) 2019/790 (10) and (EU) 2019/882 (11) of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and of the Coun­cil, and Coun­cil Direc­ti­ve 93/13/EEC (12), as well as natio­nal rules aimed at enfor­cing or imple­men­ting tho­se Uni­on legal acts.

(13) Weak con­test­a­bi­li­ty and unfair prac­ti­ces in the digi­tal sec­tor are more fre­quent and pro­no­un­ced for cer­tain digi­tal ser­vices than for others. This is the case in par­ti­cu­lar for wide­spread and com­mon­ly used digi­tal ser­vices that most­ly direct­ly inter­me­dia­te bet­ween busi­ness users and end users and whe­re fea­tures such as extre­me sca­le eco­no­mies, very strong net­work effects, an abili­ty to con­nect many busi­ness users with many end users through the mul­ti­sided­ness of the­se ser­vices, lock-in effects, a lack of mul­ti-homing or ver­ti­cal inte­gra­ti­on are the most pre­va­lent. Often, the­re is only one or very few lar­ge under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding tho­se digi­tal ser­vices. Tho­se under­ta­kings have emer­ged most fre­quent­ly as gate­kee­pers for busi­ness users and end users, with far-rea­ching impacts. In par­ti­cu­lar, they have gai­ned the abili­ty to easi­ly set com­mer­cial con­di­ti­ons and terms in a uni­la­te­ral and detri­men­tal man­ner for their busi­ness users and end users. Accor­din­gly, it is neces­sa­ry to focus only on tho­se digi­tal ser­vices that are most broad­ly used by busi­ness users and end users and whe­re con­cerns about weak con­test­a­bi­li­ty and unfair prac­ti­ces by gate­kee­pers are more appa­rent and pres­sing from an inter­nal mar­ket per­spec­ti­ve.

(14) In par­ti­cu­lar, online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices, online search engi­nes, ope­ra­ting systems, online social net­wor­king, video sha­ring plat­form ser­vices, num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on ser­vices, cloud com­pu­ting ser­vices, vir­tu­al assi­stants, web brow­sers and online adver­ti­sing ser­vices, inclu­ding adver­ti­sing inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices, all have the capa­ci­ty to affect a lar­ge num­ber of end users and busi­nesses, which ent­ails a risk of unfair busi­ness prac­ti­ces. The­r­e­fo­re, they should be inclu­ded in the defi­ni­ti­on of core plat­form ser­vices and fall into the scope of this Regu­la­ti­on. Online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices can also be acti­ve in the field of finan­cial ser­vices, and they can inter­me­dia­te or be used to pro­vi­de such ser­vices as listed non-exhaus­tively in Annex II to Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2015/1535 of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and of the Coun­cil (13). For the pur­po­ses of this Regu­la­ti­on, the defi­ni­ti­on of core plat­form ser­vices should be tech­no­lo­gy neu­tral and should be under­s­tood to encom­pass tho­se pro­vi­ded on or through various means or devices, such as con­nec­ted TV or embedded digi­tal ser­vices in vehic­les. In cer­tain cir­cum­stances, the noti­on of end users should encom­pass users that are tra­di­tio­nal­ly con­side­red busi­ness users, but in a given situa­ti­on do not use the core plat­form ser­vices to pro­vi­de goods or ser­vices to other end users, such as for exam­p­le busi­nesses rely­ing on cloud com­pu­ting ser­vices for their own pur­po­ses.

(15) The fact that a digi­tal ser­vice qua­li­fi­es as a core plat­form ser­vice does not in its­elf give rise to suf­fi­ci­ent­ly serious con­cerns of con­test­a­bi­li­ty or unfair prac­ti­ces. It is only when a core plat­form ser­vice con­sti­tu­tes an important gate­way and is ope­ra­ted by an under­ta­king with a signi­fi­cant impact in the inter­nal mar­ket and an ent­ren­ched and dura­ble posi­ti­on, or by an under­ta­king that will fore­see­ab­ly enjoy such a posi­ti­on in the near future, that such con­cerns ari­se. Accor­din­gly, the tar­ge­ted set of har­mo­ni­s­ed rules in this Regu­la­ti­on should app­ly only to under­ta­kings desi­gna­ted on the basis of tho­se three objec­ti­ve cri­te­ria, and they should only app­ly to tho­se of their core plat­form ser­vices that indi­vi­du­al­ly con­sti­tu­te an important gate­way for busi­ness users to reach end users. The fact that it is pos­si­ble that an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices not only inter­me­dia­tes bet­ween busi­ness users and end users, but also bet­ween end users and end users, for exam­p­le in the case of num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices, should not pre­clude the con­clu­si­on that such an under­ta­king is or could be an important gate­way for busi­ness users to reach end users.

(16) In order to ensu­re the effec­ti­ve appli­ca­ti­on of this Regu­la­ti­on to under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices which are most likely to satis­fy tho­se objec­ti­ve requi­re­ments, and whe­re unfair prac­ti­ces wea­k­e­ning con­test­a­bi­li­ty are most pre­va­lent and have the most impact, the Com­mis­si­on should be able to direct­ly desi­gna­te as gate­kee­pers tho­se under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices which meet cer­tain quan­ti­ta­ti­ve thres­holds. Such under­ta­kings should in any event be sub­ject to a fast desi­gna­ti­on pro­cess which should start once this Regu­la­ti­on beco­mes appli­ca­ble.

(17) The fact that an under­ta­king has a very signi­fi­cant tur­no­ver in the Uni­on and pro­vi­des a core plat­form ser­vice in at least three Mem­ber Sta­tes con­sti­tu­tes com­pel­ling indi­ca­ti­on that that under­ta­king has a signi­fi­cant impact on the inter­nal mar­ket. This is equal­ly true whe­re an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding a core plat­form ser­vice in at least three Mem­ber Sta­tes has a very signi­fi­cant mar­ket capi­ta­li­sa­ti­on or equi­va­lent fair mar­ket value. The­r­e­fo­re, an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding a core plat­form ser­vice should be pre­su­med to have a signi­fi­cant impact on the inter­nal mar­ket whe­re it pro­vi­des a core plat­form ser­vice in at least three Mem­ber Sta­tes and whe­re eit­her its group tur­no­ver rea­li­sed in the Uni­on is equal to or exce­eds a spe­ci­fic, high thres­hold, or the mar­ket capi­ta­li­sa­ti­on of the group is equal to or exce­eds a cer­tain high abso­lu­te value. For under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices that belong to under­ta­kings that are not publicly listed, the equi­va­lent fair mar­ket value should be used as the refe­rence. It should be pos­si­ble for the Com­mis­si­on to use its power to adopt dele­ga­ted acts to deve­lop an objec­ti­ve metho­do­lo­gy to cal­cu­la­te that value.

A high group tur­no­ver rea­li­sed in the Uni­on in con­junc­tion with the thres­hold num­ber of users in the Uni­on of core plat­form ser­vices reflects a rela­tively strong abili­ty to mone­ti­se tho­se users. A high mar­ket capi­ta­li­sa­ti­on rela­ti­ve to the same thres­hold num­ber of users in the Uni­on reflects a rela­tively signi­fi­cant poten­ti­al to mone­ti­se tho­se users in the near future. This mone­ti­sa­ti­on poten­ti­al in turn reflects, in prin­ci­ple, the gate­way posi­ti­on of the under­ta­kings con­cer­ned. Both indi­ca­tors, in addi­ti­on, reflect the finan­cial capa­ci­ty of the under­ta­kings con­cer­ned, inclu­ding their abili­ty to levera­ge their access to finan­cial mar­kets to rein­force their posi­ti­on. This can, for exam­p­le, hap­pen whe­re this supe­ri­or access is used to acqui­re other under­ta­kings, an abili­ty which has in turn been shown to have poten­ti­al nega­ti­ve effects on inno­va­ti­on. Mar­ket capi­ta­li­sa­ti­on can also reflect the expec­ted future posi­ti­on and effect on the inter­nal mar­ket of the under­ta­kings con­cer­ned, despi­te a poten­ti­al­ly rela­tively low cur­rent tur­no­ver. The mar­ket capi­ta­li­sa­ti­on value should be based on a level that reflects the avera­ge mar­ket capi­ta­li­sa­ti­on of the lar­gest publicly listed under­ta­kings in the Uni­on over an appro­pria­te peri­od.

(18) Whe­re­as a mar­ket capi­ta­li­sa­ti­on at or abo­ve the thres­hold in the last finan­cial year should give rise to a pre­sump­ti­on that an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices has a signi­fi­cant impact on the inter­nal mar­ket, a sus­tained mar­ket capi­ta­li­sa­ti­on of the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices at or abo­ve the thres­hold over three or more years should be con­side­red as fur­ther streng­thening that pre­sump­ti­on.

(19) By con­trast, the­re could be a num­ber of fac­tors con­cer­ning mar­ket capi­ta­li­sa­ti­on that would requi­re an in-depth assess­ment in deter­mi­ning whe­ther an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices should be dee­med to have a signi­fi­cant impact on the inter­nal mar­ket. This could be the case whe­re the mar­ket capi­ta­li­sa­ti­on of the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices in pre­ce­ding finan­cial years was signi­fi­cant­ly lower than the thres­hold and the vola­ti­li­ty of its mar­ket capi­ta­li­sa­ti­on over the obser­ved peri­od was dis­pro­por­tio­na­te to over­all equi­ty mar­ket vola­ti­li­ty or its mar­ket capi­ta­li­sa­ti­on tra­jec­to­ry rela­ti­ve to mar­ket trends was incon­si­stent with a rapid and uni­di­rec­tion­al growth.

(20) Having a very high num­ber of busi­ness users that depend on a core plat­form ser­vice to reach a very high num­ber of month­ly acti­ve end users enables the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding that ser­vice to influence the ope­ra­ti­ons of a sub­stan­ti­al part of busi­ness users to its advan­ta­ge and indi­ca­te, in prin­ci­ple, that that under­ta­king is an important gate­way. The respec­ti­ve rele­vant levels for tho­se num­bers should be set repre­sen­ting a sub­stan­ti­ve per­cen­ta­ge of the enti­re popu­la­ti­on of the Uni­on when it comes to end users and of the enti­re popu­la­ti­on of busi­nesses using core plat­form ser­vices to deter­mi­ne the thres­hold for busi­ness users. Acti­ve end users and busi­ness users should be iden­ti­fi­ed and cal­cu­la­ted in such a way as to ade­qua­te­ly repre­sent the role and reach of the spe­ci­fic core plat­form ser­vice in que­sti­on. In order to pro­vi­de legal cer­tain­ty for gate­kee­pers, the ele­ments to deter­mi­ne the num­ber of acti­ve end users and busi­ness users per core plat­form ser­vice should be set out in an Annex to this Regu­la­ti­on. Such ele­ments can be affec­ted by tech­no­lo­gi­cal and other deve­lo­p­ments. The Com­mis­si­on should the­r­e­fo­re be empowered to adopt dele­ga­ted acts to amend this Regu­la­ti­on by updating the metho­do­lo­gy and the list of indi­ca­tors used to deter­mi­ne the num­ber of acti­ve end users and acti­ve busi­ness users.

(21) An ent­ren­ched and dura­ble posi­ti­on in its ope­ra­ti­ons or the fore­seea­bi­li­ty of enjoy­ing such a posi­ti­on in the future occurs nota­b­ly whe­re the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of the posi­ti­on of the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding the core plat­form ser­vice is limi­t­ed. This is likely to be the case whe­re that under­ta­king has pro­vi­ded a core plat­form ser­vice in at least three Mem­ber Sta­tes to a very high num­ber of busi­ness users and end users over a peri­od of at least 3 years.

(22) Such thres­holds can be affec­ted by mar­ket and tech­ni­cal deve­lo­p­ments. The Com­mis­si­on should the­r­e­fo­re be empowered to adopt dele­ga­ted acts to spe­ci­fy the metho­do­lo­gy for deter­mi­ning whe­ther the quan­ti­ta­ti­ve thres­holds are met, and to regu­lar­ly adjust it to mar­ket and tech­no­lo­gi­cal deve­lo­p­ments whe­re neces­sa­ry. Such dele­ga­ted acts should not amend the quan­ti­ta­ti­ve thres­holds set out in this Regu­la­ti­on.

(23) An under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices should be able, in excep­tio­nal cir­cum­stances, to rebut the pre­sump­ti­on that the under­ta­king has a signi­fi­cant impact on the inter­nal mar­ket by demon­st­ra­ting that, alt­hough it meets the quan­ti­ta­ti­ve thres­holds set out in this Regu­la­ti­on, it does not ful­fil the requi­re­ments for desi­gna­ti­on as a gate­kee­per. The bur­den of addu­cing evi­dence that the pre­sump­ti­on deri­ving from the ful­film­ent of the quan­ti­ta­ti­ve thres­holds should not app­ly should be bor­ne by that under­ta­king. In its assess­ment of the evi­dence and argu­ments pro­du­ced, the Com­mis­si­on should take into account only tho­se ele­ments which direct­ly rela­te to the quan­ti­ta­ti­ve cri­te­ria, name­ly the impact of the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices on the inter­nal mar­ket bey­ond reve­nue or mar­ket cap, such as its size in abso­lu­te terms, and the num­ber of Mem­ber Sta­tes in which it is pre­sent; by how much the actu­al busi­ness user and end user num­bers exce­ed the thres­holds and the importance of the undertaking’s core plat­form ser­vice con­side­ring the over­all sca­le of acti­vi­ties of the respec­ti­ve core plat­form ser­vice; and the num­ber of years for which the thres­holds have been met.

Any justi­fi­ca­ti­on on eco­no­mic grounds see­king to enter into mar­ket defi­ni­ti­on or to demon­stra­te effi­ci­en­ci­es deri­ving from a spe­ci­fic type of beha­viour by the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices should be dis­card­ed, as it is not rele­vant to the desi­gna­ti­on as a gate­kee­per. If the argu­ments sub­mit­ted are not suf­fi­ci­ent­ly sub­stan­tia­ted becau­se they do not mani­fest­ly put into que­sti­on the pre­sump­ti­on, it should be pos­si­ble for the Com­mis­si­on to reject the argu­ments within the time­frame of 45 working days pro­vi­ded for the desi­gna­ti­on. The Com­mis­si­on should be able to take a decis­i­on by rely­ing on infor­ma­ti­on available on the quan­ti­ta­ti­ve thres­holds whe­re the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices obs­tructs the inve­sti­ga­ti­on by fai­ling to com­ply with the inve­sti­ga­ti­ve mea­su­res taken by the Com­mis­si­on.

(24) Pro­vi­si­on should also be made for the assess­ment of the gate­kee­per role of under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices which do not satis­fy all of the quan­ti­ta­ti­ve thres­holds, in light of the over­all objec­ti­ve requi­re­ments that they have a signi­fi­cant impact on the inter­nal mar­ket, act as an important gate­way for busi­ness users to reach end users and bene­fit from an ent­ren­ched and dura­ble posi­ti­on in their ope­ra­ti­ons or it is fore­seeable that they will do so in the near future. When the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices is a medi­um-sized, small or micro enter­pri­se, the assess­ment should careful­ly take into account whe­ther such an under­ta­king would be able to sub­stan­ti­al­ly under­mi­ne the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of the core plat­form ser­vices, sin­ce this Regu­la­ti­on pri­ma­ri­ly tar­gets lar­ge under­ta­kings with con­sidera­ble eco­no­mic power rather than medi­um-sized, small or micro enter­pri­ses.

(25) Such an assess­ment can only be done in light of a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on, while taking into account the quan­ti­ta­ti­ve thres­holds. In its assess­ment the Com­mis­si­on should pur­sue the objec­ti­ves of pre­ser­ving and foste­ring inno­va­ti­on and the qua­li­ty of digi­tal pro­ducts and ser­vices, the degree to which pri­ces are fair and com­pe­ti­ti­ve, and the degree to which qua­li­ty or choice for busi­ness users and for end users is or remains high. Ele­ments can be taken into account that are spe­ci­fic to the under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices con­cer­ned, such as extre­me sca­le or scope eco­no­mies, very strong net­work effects, data-dri­ven advan­ta­ges, an abili­ty to con­nect many busi­ness users with many end users through the mul­ti­sided­ness of tho­se ser­vices, lock-in effects, lack of mul­ti-homing, con­glo­me­ra­te cor­po­ra­te struc­tu­re or ver­ti­cal inte­gra­ti­on. In addi­ti­on, a very high mar­ket capi­ta­li­sa­ti­on, a very high ratio of equi­ty value over pro­fit or a very high tur­no­ver deri­ved from end users of a sin­gle core plat­form ser­vice can be used as indi­ca­tors of the lever­aging poten­ti­al of such under­ta­kings and of the tip­ping of the mar­ket in their favour. Tog­e­ther with mar­ket capi­ta­li­sa­ti­on, high rela­ti­ve growth rates are examp­les of dyna­mic para­me­ters that are par­ti­cu­lar­ly rele­vant to iden­ti­fy­ing such under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices for which it is fore­seeable that they will beco­me ent­ren­ched and dura­ble. The Com­mis­si­on should be able to take a decis­i­on by dra­wing adver­se infe­ren­ces from facts available whe­re the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices signi­fi­cant­ly obs­tructs the inve­sti­ga­ti­on by fai­ling to com­ply with the inve­sti­ga­ti­ve mea­su­res taken by the Com­mis­si­on.

(26) A par­ti­cu­lar sub­set of rules should app­ly to tho­se under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices for which it is fore­seeable that they will enjoy an ent­ren­ched and dura­ble posi­ti­on in the near future. The same spe­ci­fic fea­tures of core plat­form ser­vices make them pro­ne to tip­ping: once an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding the core plat­form ser­vice has obtai­ned a cer­tain advan­ta­ge over rivals or poten­ti­al chal­len­gers in terms of sca­le or inter­me­dia­ti­on power, its posi­ti­on could beco­me unas­sailable and the situa­ti­on could evol­ve to the point that it is likely to beco­me ent­ren­ched and dura­ble in the near future. Under­ta­kings can try to indu­ce this tip­ping and emer­ge as gate­kee­per by using some of the unfair con­di­ti­ons and prac­ti­ces regu­la­ted under this Regu­la­ti­on. In such a situa­ti­on, it appears appro­pria­te to inter­ve­ne befo­re the mar­ket tips irrever­si­bly.

(27) Howe­ver, such ear­ly inter­ven­ti­on should be limi­t­ed to impo­sing only tho­se obli­ga­ti­ons that are neces­sa­ry and appro­pria­te to ensu­re that the ser­vices in que­sti­on remain con­test­a­ble and enable the qua­li­fi­ed risk of unfair con­di­ti­ons and prac­ti­ces to be avo­ided. Obli­ga­ti­ons that pre­vent the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices con­cer­ned from enjoy­ing an ent­ren­ched and dura­ble posi­ti­on in its ope­ra­ti­ons, such as tho­se pre­ven­ting lever­aging, and tho­se that faci­li­ta­te swit­ching and mul­ti-homing are more direct­ly geared towards this pur­po­se. To ensu­re pro­por­tio­na­li­ty, the Com­mis­si­on should moreo­ver app­ly from that sub­set of obli­ga­ti­ons only tho­se that are neces­sa­ry and pro­por­tio­na­te to achie­ve the objec­ti­ves of this Regu­la­ti­on and should regu­lar­ly review whe­ther such obli­ga­ti­ons should be main­tai­ned, sup­pres­sed or adapt­ed.

(28) App­ly­ing only tho­se obli­ga­ti­ons that are neces­sa­ry and pro­por­tio­na­te to achie­ve the objec­ti­ves of this Regu­la­ti­on should allow the Com­mis­si­on to inter­ve­ne in time and effec­tively, while ful­ly respec­ting the pro­por­tio­na­li­ty of the mea­su­res con­side­red. It should also reassu­re actu­al or poten­ti­al mar­ket par­ti­ci­pan­ts about the con­test­a­bi­li­ty and fair­ness of the ser­vices con­cer­ned.

(29) Gate­kee­pers should com­ply with the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on in respect of each of the core plat­form ser­vices listed in the rele­vant desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on. The obli­ga­ti­ons should app­ly taking into account the con­glo­me­ra­te posi­ti­on of gate­kee­pers, whe­re appli­ca­ble. Fur­ther­mo­re, it should be pos­si­ble for the Com­mis­si­on to impo­se imple­men­ting mea­su­res on the gate­kee­per by decis­i­on. Tho­se imple­men­ting mea­su­res should be desi­gned in an effec­ti­ve man­ner, having regard to the fea­tures of core plat­form ser­vices and the pos­si­ble cir­cum­ven­ti­on risks, and in com­pli­ance with the prin­ci­ple of pro­por­tio­na­li­ty and the fun­da­men­tal rights of the under­ta­kings con­cer­ned, as well as tho­se of third par­ties.

(30) The very rapid­ly chan­ging and com­plex tech­no­lo­gi­cal natu­re of core plat­form ser­vices requi­res a regu­lar review of the sta­tus of gate­kee­pers, inclu­ding tho­se that it is fore­seen will enjoy an ent­ren­ched and dura­ble posi­ti­on in their ope­ra­ti­ons in the near future. To pro­vi­de all of the mar­ket par­ti­ci­pan­ts, inclu­ding the gate­kee­pers, with the requi­red cer­tain­ty as to the appli­ca­ble legal obli­ga­ti­ons, a time limit for such regu­lar reviews is neces­sa­ry. It is also important to con­duct such reviews on a regu­lar basis and at least every 3 years. Fur­ther­mo­re, it is important to cla­ri­fy that not every chan­ge in the facts on the basis of which an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices was desi­gna­ted as a gate­kee­per should requi­re amend­ment of the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on. Amend­ment will only be neces­sa­ry if the chan­ge in the facts also leads to a chan­ge in the assess­ment. Whe­ther or not that is the case should be based on a case-by-case assess­ment of the facts and cir­cum­stances.

(31) To safe­guard the con­test­a­bi­li­ty and fair­ness of core plat­form ser­vices pro­vi­ded by gate­kee­pers, it is neces­sa­ry to pro­vi­de in a clear and unam­bi­guous man­ner for a set of har­mo­ni­s­ed rules with regard to tho­se ser­vices. Such rules are nee­ded to address the risk of harmful effects of prac­ti­ces by gate­kee­pers, to the bene­fit of the busi­ness envi­ron­ment in the ser­vices con­cer­ned, of users and ulti­m­ate­ly of socie­ty as a who­le. The obli­ga­ti­ons cor­re­spond to tho­se prac­ti­ces that are con­side­red as under­mi­ning con­test­a­bi­li­ty or as being unfair, or both, when taking into account the fea­tures of the digi­tal sec­tor and which have a par­ti­cu­lar­ly nega­ti­ve direct impact on busi­ness users and end users. It should be pos­si­ble for the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down by this Regu­la­ti­on to spe­ci­fi­cal­ly take into account the natu­re of the core plat­form ser­vices pro­vi­ded. The obli­ga­ti­ons in this Regu­la­ti­on should not only ensu­re con­test­a­bi­li­ty and fair­ness with respect to core plat­form ser­vices listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on, but also with respect to other digi­tal pro­ducts and ser­vices into which gate­kee­pers levera­ge their gate­way posi­ti­on, which are often pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, the core plat­form ser­vices.

(32) For the pur­po­se of this Regu­la­ti­on, con­test­a­bi­li­ty should rela­te to the abili­ty of under­ta­kings to effec­tively over­co­me bar­riers to ent­ry and expan­si­on and chall­enge the gate­kee­per on the merits of their pro­ducts and ser­vices. The fea­tures of core plat­form ser­vices in the digi­tal sec­tor, such as net­work effects, strong eco­no­mies of sca­le, and bene­fits from data have limi­t­ed the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of tho­se ser­vices and the rela­ted eco­sy­stems. Such a weak con­test­a­bi­li­ty redu­ces the incen­ti­ves to inno­va­te and impro­ve pro­ducts and ser­vices for the gate­kee­per, its busi­ness users, its chal­len­gers and cus­to­mers and thus nega­tively affects the inno­va­ti­on poten­ti­al of the wider online plat­form eco­no­my. Con­test­a­bi­li­ty of the ser­vices in the digi­tal sec­tor can also be limi­t­ed if the­re is more than one gate­kee­per for a core plat­form ser­vice. This Regu­la­ti­on should the­r­e­fo­re ban cer­tain prac­ti­ces by gate­kee­pers that are lia­ble to increa­se bar­riers to ent­ry or expan­si­on, and impo­se cer­tain obli­ga­ti­ons on gate­kee­pers that tend to lower tho­se bar­riers. The obli­ga­ti­ons should also address situa­tions whe­re the posi­ti­on of the gate­kee­per may be ent­ren­ched to such an ext­ent that inter-plat­form com­pe­ti­ti­on is not effec­ti­ve in the short term, mea­ning that intra-plat­form com­pe­ti­ti­on needs to be crea­ted or increa­sed.

(33) For the pur­po­se of this Regu­la­ti­on, unfair­ness should rela­te to an imba­lan­ce bet­ween the rights and obli­ga­ti­ons of busi­ness users whe­re the gate­kee­per obta­ins a dis­pro­por­tio­na­te advan­ta­ge. Mar­ket par­ti­ci­pan­ts, inclu­ding busi­ness users of core plat­form ser­vices and alter­na­ti­ve pro­vi­ders of ser­vices pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, such core plat­form ser­vices, should have the abili­ty to ade­qua­te­ly cap­tu­re the bene­fits resul­ting from their inno­va­ti­ve or other efforts. Due to their gate­way posi­ti­on and supe­ri­or bar­gai­ning power, it is pos­si­ble that gate­kee­pers enga­ge in beha­viour that does not allow others to cap­tu­re ful­ly the bene­fits of their own con­tri­bu­ti­ons, and uni­la­te­ral­ly set unba­lan­ced con­di­ti­ons for the use of their core plat­form ser­vices or ser­vices pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, their core plat­form ser­vices. Such imba­lan­ce is not exclu­ded by the fact that the gate­kee­per offers a par­ti­cu­lar ser­vice free of char­ge to a spe­ci­fic group of users, and may also con­sist in exclu­ding or dis­cri­mi­na­ting against busi­ness users, in par­ti­cu­lar if the lat­ter com­pe­te with the ser­vices pro­vi­ded by the gate­kee­per. This Regu­la­ti­on should the­r­e­fo­re impo­se obli­ga­ti­ons on gate­kee­pers addres­sing such beha­viour.

(34) Con­test­a­bi­li­ty and fair­ness are intert­wi­ned. The lack of, or weak, con­test­a­bi­li­ty for a cer­tain ser­vice can enable a gate­kee­per to enga­ge in unfair prac­ti­ces. Simi­lar­ly, unfair prac­ti­ces by a gate­kee­per can redu­ce the pos­si­bi­li­ty of busi­ness users or others to con­test the gatekeeper’s posi­ti­on. A par­ti­cu­lar obli­ga­ti­on in this Regu­la­ti­on may, the­r­e­fo­re, address both ele­ments.

(35) The obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on are the­r­e­fo­re neces­sa­ry to address iden­ti­fi­ed public poli­cy con­cerns, the­re being no alter­na­ti­ve and less rest­ric­ti­ve mea­su­res that would effec­tively achie­ve the same result, having regard to the need to safe­guard public order, pro­tect pri­va­cy and fight frau­du­lent and decep­ti­ve com­mer­cial prac­ti­ces.

(36) Gate­kee­pers often direct­ly coll­ect per­so­nal data of end users for the pur­po­se of pro­vi­ding online adver­ti­sing ser­vices when end users use third-par­ty web­sites and soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons. Third par­ties also pro­vi­de gate­kee­pers with per­so­nal data of their end users in order to make use of cer­tain ser­vices pro­vi­ded by the gate­kee­pers in the con­text of their core plat­form ser­vices, such as cus­tom audi­en­ces. The pro­ce­s­sing, for the pur­po­se of pro­vi­ding online adver­ti­sing ser­vices, of per­so­nal data from third par­ties using core plat­form ser­vices gives gate­kee­pers poten­ti­al advan­ta­ges in terms of accu­mu­la­ti­on of data, ther­eby rai­sing bar­riers to ent­ry. This is becau­se gate­kee­pers pro­cess per­so­nal data from a signi­fi­cant­ly lar­ger num­ber of third par­ties than other under­ta­kings. Simi­lar advan­ta­ges result from the con­duct of (i) com­bi­ning end user per­so­nal data coll­ec­ted from a core plat­form ser­vice with data coll­ec­ted from other ser­vices; (ii) cross-using per­so­nal data from a core plat­form ser­vice in other ser­vices pro­vi­ded sepa­ra­te­ly by the gate­kee­per, nota­b­ly ser­vices which are not pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vice, and vice ver­sa; or (iii) sig­ning-in end users to dif­fe­rent ser­vices of gate­kee­pers in order to com­bi­ne per­so­nal data. To ensu­re that gate­kee­pers do not unf­air­ly under­mi­ne the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of core plat­form ser­vices, gate­kee­pers should enable end users to free­ly choo­se to opt-in to such data pro­ce­s­sing and sign-in prac­ti­ces by offe­ring a less per­so­na­li­sed but equi­va­lent alter­na­ti­ve, and wit­hout making the use of the core plat­form ser­vice or cer­tain func­tion­a­li­ties the­reof con­di­tio­nal upon the end user’s con­sent. This should be wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the gate­kee­per pro­ce­s­sing per­so­nal data or sig­ning in end users to a ser­vice, rely­ing on the legal basis under Artic­le 6(1), points (c), (d) and (e), of Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679, but not on Artic­le 6(1), points (b) and (f) of that Regu­la­ti­on.

(37) The less per­so­na­li­sed alter­na­ti­ve should not be dif­fe­rent or of degra­ded qua­li­ty com­pared to the ser­vice pro­vi­ded to the end users who pro­vi­de con­sent, unless a degra­da­ti­on of qua­li­ty is a direct con­se­quence of the gate­kee­per not being able to pro­cess such per­so­nal data or sig­ning in end users to a ser­vice. Not giving con­sent should not be more dif­fi­cult than giving con­sent. When the gate­kee­per requests con­sent, it should proac­tively pre­sent a user-fri­end­ly solu­ti­on to the end user to pro­vi­de, modi­fy or with­draw con­sent in an expli­cit, clear and straight­for­ward man­ner. In par­ti­cu­lar, con­sent should be given by a clear affir­ma­ti­ve action or state­ment estab­li­shing a free­ly given, spe­ci­fic, infor­med and unam­bi­guous indi­ca­ti­on of agree­ment by the end user, as defi­ned in Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679. At the time of giving con­sent, and only whe­re appli­ca­ble, the end user should be infor­med that not giving con­sent can lead to a less per­so­na­li­sed offer, but that other­wi­se the core plat­form ser­vice will remain unch­an­ged and that no func­tion­a­li­ties will be sup­pres­sed. Excep­tio­nal­ly, if con­sent can­not be given direct­ly to the gatekeeper’s core plat­form ser­vice, end users should be able to give con­sent through each third-par­ty ser­vice that makes use of that core plat­form ser­vice, to allow the gate­kee­per to pro­cess per­so­nal data for the pur­po­ses of pro­vi­ding online adver­ti­sing ser­vices.

Last­ly, it should be as easy to with­draw con­sent as to give it. Gate­kee­pers should not design, orga­ni­se or ope­ra­te their online inter­faces in a way that decei­ves, mani­pu­la­tes or other­wi­se mate­ri­al­ly distorts or impairs the abili­ty of end users to free­ly give con­sent. In par­ti­cu­lar, gate­kee­pers should not be allo­wed to prompt end users more than once a year to give con­sent for the same pro­ce­s­sing pur­po­se in respect of which they initi­al­ly did not give con­sent or with­drew their con­sent. This Regu­la­ti­on is wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679, inclu­ding its enforce­ment frame­work, which remains ful­ly appli­ca­ble with respect to any claims by data sub­jects rela­ting to an inf­rin­ge­ment of their rights under that Regu­la­ti­on.

(38) Child­ren merit spe­ci­fic pro­tec­tion with regard to their per­so­nal data, in par­ti­cu­lar as regards the use of their per­so­nal data for the pur­po­ses of com­mer­cial com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on or crea­ting user pro­files. The pro­tec­tion of child­ren online is an important objec­ti­ve of the Uni­on and should be reflec­ted in the rele­vant Uni­on law. In this con­text, due regard should be given to a Regu­la­ti­on on a sin­gle mar­ket for digi­tal ser­vices. Not­hing in this Regu­la­ti­on exempts gate­kee­pers from the obli­ga­ti­on to pro­tect child­ren laid down in appli­ca­ble Uni­on law.

(39) In cer­tain cases, for instance through the impo­si­ti­on of con­trac­tu­al terms and con­di­ti­ons, gate­kee­pers can rest­rict the abili­ty of busi­ness users of their online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices to offer pro­ducts or ser­vices to end users under more favoura­ble con­di­ti­ons, inclu­ding pri­ce, through other online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices or through direct online sales chan­nels. Whe­re such rest­ric­tions rela­te to third-par­ty online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices, they limit inter-plat­form con­test­a­bi­li­ty, which in turn limits choice of alter­na­ti­ve online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices for end users. Whe­re such rest­ric­tions rela­te to direct online sales chan­nels, they unf­air­ly limit the free­dom of busi­ness users to use such chan­nels. To ensu­re that busi­ness users of online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices of gate­kee­pers can free­ly choo­se alter­na­ti­ve online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices or direct online sales chan­nels and dif­fe­ren­tia­te the con­di­ti­ons under which they offer their pro­ducts or ser­vices to end users, it should not be accept­ed that gate­kee­pers limit busi­ness users from choo­sing to dif­fe­ren­tia­te com­mer­cial con­di­ti­ons, inclu­ding pri­ce. Such a rest­ric­tion should app­ly to any mea­su­re with equi­va­lent effect, such as increa­sed com­mis­si­on rates or de-listing of the offers of busi­ness users.

(40) To pre­vent fur­ther rein­for­cing their depen­dence on the core plat­form ser­vices of gate­kee­pers, and in order to pro­mo­te mul­ti-homing, the busi­ness users of tho­se gate­kee­pers should be free to pro­mo­te and choo­se the dis­tri­bu­ti­on chan­nel that they con­sider most appro­pria­te for the pur­po­se of inter­ac­ting with any end users that tho­se busi­ness users have alre­a­dy acqui­red through core plat­form ser­vices pro­vi­ded by the gate­kee­per or through other chan­nels. This should app­ly to the pro­mo­ti­on of offers, inclu­ding through a soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on of the busi­ness user, and any form of com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on and con­clu­si­on of con­tracts bet­ween busi­ness users and end users. An acqui­red end user is an end user who has alre­a­dy ente­red into a com­mer­cial rela­ti­on­ship with the busi­ness user and, whe­re appli­ca­ble, the gate­kee­per has been direct­ly or indi­rect­ly remu­ne­ra­ted by the busi­ness user for faci­li­ta­ting the initi­al acqui­si­ti­on of the end user by the busi­ness user. Such com­mer­cial rela­ti­on­ships can be on eit­her a paid or a free basis, such as free tri­als or free ser­vice tiers, and can have been ente­red into eit­her on the core plat­form ser­vice of the gate­kee­per or through any other chan­nel. Con­ver­se­ly, end users should also be free to choo­se offers of such busi­ness users and to enter into con­tracts with them eit­her through core plat­form ser­vices of the gate­kee­per, if appli­ca­ble, or from a direct dis­tri­bu­ti­on chan­nel of the busi­ness user or ano­ther indi­rect chan­nel that such busi­ness user uses.

(41) The abili­ty of end users to acqui­re con­tent, sub­scrip­ti­ons, fea­tures or other items out­side the core plat­form ser­vices of the gate­kee­per should not be under­mi­ned or rest­ric­ted. In par­ti­cu­lar, a situa­ti­on should be avo­ided wher­eby gate­kee­pers rest­rict end users from access to, and use of, such ser­vices via a soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on run­ning on their core plat­form ser­vice. For exam­p­le, sub­scri­bers to online con­tent purcha­sed out­side a soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on, soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on store or vir­tu­al assi­stant should not be pre­ven­ted from acce­s­sing such online con­tent on a soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on on the core plat­form ser­vice of the gate­kee­per sim­ply becau­se it was purcha­sed out­side such soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on, soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on store or vir­tu­al assi­stant.

(42) To safe­guard a fair com­mer­cial envi­ron­ment and pro­tect the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of the digi­tal sec­tor it is important to safe­guard the right of busi­ness users and end users, inclu­ding whist­le­b­lo­wers, to rai­se con­cerns about unfair prac­ti­ces by gate­kee­pers rai­sing any issue of non-com­pli­ance with the rele­vant Uni­on or natio­nal law with any rele­vant admi­ni­stra­ti­ve or other public aut­ho­ri­ties, inclu­ding natio­nal courts. For exam­p­le, it is pos­si­ble that busi­ness users or end users will want to com­plain about dif­fe­rent types of unfair prac­ti­ces, such as dis­cri­mi­na­to­ry access con­di­ti­ons, unju­sti­fi­ed clo­sing of busi­ness user accounts or unclear grounds for pro­duct de-listings. Any prac­ti­ce that would in any way inhi­bit or hin­der tho­se users in rai­sing their con­cerns or in see­king available redress, for instance by means of con­fi­den­tia­li­ty clau­ses in agree­ments or other writ­ten terms, should the­r­e­fo­re be pro­hi­bi­ted. This pro­hi­bi­ti­on should be wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the right of busi­ness users and gate­kee­pers to lay down in their agree­ments the terms of use inclu­ding the use of lawful com­plaints-hand­ling mecha­nisms, inclu­ding any use of alter­na­ti­ve dis­pu­te reso­lu­ti­on mecha­nisms or of the juris­dic­tion of spe­ci­fic courts in com­pli­ance with respec­ti­ve Uni­on and natio­nal law. This should also be wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the role gate­kee­pers play in the fight against ille­gal con­tent online.

(43) Cer­tain ser­vices pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, rele­vant core plat­form ser­vices of the gate­kee­per, such as iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on ser­vices, web brow­ser engi­nes, payment ser­vices or tech­ni­cal ser­vices that sup­port the pro­vi­si­on of payment ser­vices, such as payment systems for in-app purcha­ses, are cru­cial for busi­ness users to con­duct their busi­ness and allow them to opti­mi­se ser­vices. In par­ti­cu­lar, each brow­ser is built on a web brow­ser engi­ne, which is respon­si­ble for key brow­ser func­tion­a­li­ty such as speed, relia­bi­li­ty and web com­pa­ti­bi­li­ty. When gate­kee­pers ope­ra­te and impo­se web brow­ser engi­nes, they are in a posi­ti­on to deter­mi­ne the func­tion­a­li­ty and stan­dards that will app­ly not only to their own web brow­sers, but also to com­pe­ting web brow­sers and, in turn, to web soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons. Gate­kee­pers should the­r­e­fo­re not use their posi­ti­on to requi­re their depen­dent busi­ness users to use any of the ser­vices pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, core plat­form ser­vices by the gate­kee­per its­elf as part of the pro­vi­si­on of ser­vices or pro­ducts by tho­se busi­ness users. In order to avo­id a situa­ti­on in which gate­kee­pers indi­rect­ly impo­se on busi­ness users their own ser­vices pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, core plat­form ser­vices, gate­kee­pers should also be pro­hi­bi­ted from requi­ring end users to use such ser­vices, when that requi­re­ment would be impo­sed in the con­text of the ser­vice pro­vi­ded to end users by the busi­ness user using the core plat­form ser­vice of the gate­kee­per. That pro­hi­bi­ti­on aims to pro­tect the free­dom of the busi­ness user to choo­se alter­na­ti­ve ser­vices to the ones of the gate­kee­per, but should not be con­strued as obliging the busi­ness user to offer such alter­na­ti­ves to its end users.

(44) The con­duct of requi­ring busi­ness users or end users to sub­scri­be to, or regi­ster with, any other core plat­form ser­vices of gate­kee­pers listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on or which meet the thres­holds of acti­ve end users and busi­ness users set out in this Regu­la­ti­on, as a con­di­ti­on for using, acce­s­sing, sig­ning up for or regi­stering with a core plat­form ser­vice gives the gate­kee­pers a means of cap­tu­ring and locking-in new busi­ness users and end users for their core plat­form ser­vices by ensu­ring that busi­ness users can­not access one core plat­form ser­vice wit­hout also at least regi­stering or crea­ting an account for the pur­po­ses of recei­ving a second core plat­form ser­vice. That con­duct also gives gate­kee­pers a poten­ti­al advan­ta­ge in terms of accu­mu­la­ti­on of data. As such, this con­duct is lia­ble to rai­se bar­riers to ent­ry and should be pro­hi­bi­ted.

(45) The con­di­ti­ons under which gate­kee­pers pro­vi­de online adver­ti­sing ser­vices to busi­ness users, inclu­ding both adver­ti­sers and publishers, are often non-trans­pa­rent and opaque. This opa­ci­ty is part­ly lin­ked to the prac­ti­ces of a few plat­forms, but is also due to the sheer com­ple­xi­ty of modern day pro­gram­ma­tic adver­ti­sing. That sec­tor is con­side­red to have beco­me less trans­pa­rent after the intro­duc­tion of new pri­va­cy legis­la­ti­on. This often leads to a lack of infor­ma­ti­on and know­ledge for adver­ti­sers and publishers about the con­di­ti­ons of the online adver­ti­sing ser­vices they purcha­se and under­mi­nes their abili­ty to switch bet­ween under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding online adver­ti­sing ser­vices. Fur­ther­mo­re, the costs of online adver­ti­sing ser­vices under the­se con­di­ti­ons are likely to be hig­her than they would be in a fai­rer, more trans­pa­rent and con­test­a­ble plat­form envi­ron­ment. Tho­se hig­her costs are likely to be reflec­ted in the pri­ces that end users pay for many dai­ly pro­ducts and ser­vices rely­ing on the use of online adver­ti­sing ser­vices. Trans­pa­ren­cy obli­ga­ti­ons should the­r­e­fo­re requi­re gate­kee­pers to pro­vi­de adver­ti­sers and publishers to whom they sup­p­ly online adver­ti­sing ser­vices, when reque­sted, with free of char­ge infor­ma­ti­on that allo­ws both sides to under­stand the pri­ce paid for each of the dif­fe­rent online adver­ti­sing ser­vices pro­vi­ded as part of the rele­vant adver­ti­sing value chain.

This infor­ma­ti­on should be pro­vi­ded, upon request, to an adver­ti­ser at the level of an indi­vi­du­al adver­ti­se­ment in rela­ti­on to the pri­ce and fees char­ged to that adver­ti­ser and, sub­ject to an agree­ment by the publisher owning the inven­to­ry whe­re the adver­ti­se­ment is dis­play­ed, the remu­ne­ra­ti­on recei­ved by that con­sen­ting publisher. The pro­vi­si­on of this infor­ma­ti­on on a dai­ly basis will allow adver­ti­sers to recei­ve infor­ma­ti­on that has a suf­fi­ci­ent level of gra­nu­la­ri­ty neces­sa­ry to compa­re the costs of using the online adver­ti­sing ser­vices of gate­kee­pers with the costs of using online adver­ti­sing ser­vices of alter­na­ti­ve under­ta­kings. Whe­re some publishers do not pro­vi­de their con­sent to the sha­ring of the rele­vant infor­ma­ti­on with the adver­ti­ser, the gate­kee­per should pro­vi­de the adver­ti­ser with the infor­ma­ti­on about the dai­ly avera­ge remu­ne­ra­ti­on recei­ved by tho­se publishers for the rele­vant adver­ti­se­ments. The same obli­ga­ti­on and prin­ci­ples of sha­ring the rele­vant infor­ma­ti­on con­cer­ning the pro­vi­si­on of online adver­ti­sing ser­vices should app­ly in respect of requests by publishers. Sin­ce gate­kee­pers can use dif­fe­rent pri­cing models for the pro­vi­si­on of online adver­ti­sing ser­vices to adver­ti­sers and publishers, for instance a pri­ce per impres­si­on, per view or any other cri­ter­ion, gate­kee­pers should also pro­vi­de the method with which each of the pri­ces and remu­ne­ra­ti­ons are cal­cu­la­ted.

(46) In cer­tain cir­cum­stances, a gate­kee­per has a dual role as an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices, wher­eby it pro­vi­des a core plat­form ser­vice, and pos­si­bly other ser­vices pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, that core plat­form ser­vice to its busi­ness users, while also com­pe­ting or inten­ding to com­pe­te with tho­se same busi­ness users in the pro­vi­si­on of the same or simi­lar ser­vices or pro­ducts to the same end users. In tho­se cir­cum­stances, a gate­kee­per can take advan­ta­ge of its dual role to use data, gene­ra­ted or pro­vi­ded by its busi­ness users in the con­text of acti­vi­ties by tho­se busi­ness users when using the core plat­form ser­vices or the ser­vices pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, tho­se core plat­form ser­vices, for the pur­po­se of its own ser­vices or pro­ducts. The data of the busi­ness user can also include any data gene­ra­ted by or pro­vi­ded during the acti­vi­ties of its end users. This can be the case, for instance, whe­re a gate­kee­per pro­vi­des an online mar­ket­place or a soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on store to busi­ness users, and at the same time pro­vi­des ser­vices as an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding online retail ser­vices or soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons. To pre­vent gate­kee­pers from unf­air­ly bene­fit­ting from their dual role, it is neces­sa­ry to ensu­re that they do not use any aggre­ga­ted or non-aggre­ga­ted data, which could include anony­mi­sed and per­so­nal data that is not publicly available to pro­vi­de simi­lar ser­vices to tho­se of their busi­ness users. That obli­ga­ti­on should app­ly to the gate­kee­per as a who­le, inclu­ding but not limi­t­ed to its busi­ness unit that com­pe­tes with the busi­ness users of a core plat­form ser­vice.

(47) Busi­ness users can also purcha­se online adver­ti­sing ser­vices from an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices for the pur­po­se of pro­vi­ding goods and ser­vices to end users. In this case, it can hap­pen that the data are not gene­ra­ted on the core plat­form ser­vice, but are pro­vi­ded to the core plat­form ser­vice by the busi­ness user or are gene­ra­ted based on its ope­ra­ti­ons through the core plat­form ser­vice con­cer­ned. In cer­tain instances, that core plat­form ser­vice pro­vi­ding adver­ti­sing can have a dual role as both an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding online adver­ti­sing ser­vices and an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding ser­vices com­pe­ting with busi­ness users. Accor­din­gly, the obli­ga­ti­on pro­hi­bi­ting a dual role gate­kee­per from using data of busi­ness users should app­ly also with respect to the data that a core plat­form ser­vice has recei­ved from busi­nesses for the pur­po­se of pro­vi­ding online adver­ti­sing ser­vices rela­ted to that core plat­form ser­vice.

(48) In rela­ti­on to cloud com­pu­ting ser­vices, the obli­ga­ti­on not to use the data of busi­ness users should extend to data pro­vi­ded or gene­ra­ted by busi­ness users of the gate­kee­per in the con­text of their use of the cloud com­pu­ting ser­vice of the gate­kee­per, or through its soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on store that allo­ws end users of cloud com­pu­ting ser­vices access to soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons. That obli­ga­ti­on should not affect the right of the gate­kee­per to use aggre­ga­ted data for pro­vi­ding other ser­vices pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, its core plat­form ser­vice, such as data ana­ly­tics ser­vices, sub­ject to com­pli­ance with Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679 and Direc­ti­ve 2002/58/EC, as well as with the rele­vant obli­ga­ti­ons in this Regu­la­ti­on con­cer­ning such ser­vices.

(49) A gate­kee­per can use dif­fe­rent means to favour its own or third-par­ty ser­vices or pro­ducts on its ope­ra­ting system, vir­tu­al assi­stant or web brow­ser, to the detri­ment of the same or simi­lar ser­vices that end users could obtain through other third par­ties. This can for instance hap­pen whe­re cer­tain soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons or ser­vices are pre-instal­led by a gate­kee­per. To enable end user choice, gate­kee­pers should not pre­vent end users from un-instal­ling any soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons on their ope­ra­ting system. It should be pos­si­ble for the gate­kee­per to rest­rict such un-instal­la­ti­on only when such soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons are essen­ti­al to the func­tio­ning of the ope­ra­ting system or the device. Gate­kee­pers should also allow end users to easi­ly chan­ge the default set­tings on the ope­ra­ting system, vir­tu­al assi­stant and web brow­ser when tho­se default set­tings favour their own soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons and ser­vices. This inclu­des promp­ting a choice screen, at the moment of the users’ first use of an online search engi­ne, vir­tu­al assi­stant or web brow­ser of the gate­kee­per listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on, allo­wing end users to sel­ect an alter­na­ti­ve default ser­vice when the ope­ra­ting system of the gate­kee­per directs end users to tho­se online search engi­ne, vir­tu­al assi­stant or web brow­ser and when the vir­tu­al assi­stant or the web brow­ser of the gate­kee­per direct the user to the online search engi­ne listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on.

(50) The rules that a gate­kee­per sets for the dis­tri­bu­ti­on of soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons can, in cer­tain cir­cum­stances, rest­rict the abili­ty of end users to install and effec­tively use third-par­ty soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons or soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores on hard­ware or ope­ra­ting systems of that gate­kee­per and rest­rict the abili­ty of end users to access such soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons or soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores out­side the core plat­form ser­vices of that gate­kee­per. Such rest­ric­tions can limit the abili­ty of deve­lo­pers of soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons to use alter­na­ti­ve dis­tri­bu­ti­on chan­nels and the abili­ty of end users to choo­se bet­ween dif­fe­rent soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons from dif­fe­rent dis­tri­bu­ti­on chan­nels and should be pro­hi­bi­ted as unfair and lia­ble to wea­k­en the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of core plat­form ser­vices. To ensu­re con­test­a­bi­li­ty, the gate­kee­per should fur­ther­mo­re allow the third-par­ty soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons or soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores to prompt the end user to deci­de whe­ther that ser­vice should beco­me the default and enable that chan­ge to be car­ri­ed out easi­ly.

In order to ensu­re that third-par­ty soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons or soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores do not end­an­ger the inte­gri­ty of the hard­ware or ope­ra­ting system pro­vi­ded by the gate­kee­per, it should be pos­si­ble for the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned to imple­ment pro­por­tio­na­te tech­ni­cal or con­trac­tu­al mea­su­res to achie­ve that goal if the gate­kee­per demon­stra­tes that such mea­su­res are neces­sa­ry and justi­fi­ed and that the­re are no less-rest­ric­ti­ve means to safe­guard the inte­gri­ty of the hard­ware or ope­ra­ting system. The inte­gri­ty of the hard­ware or the ope­ra­ting system should include any design opti­ons that need to be imple­men­ted and main­tai­ned in order for the hard­ware or the ope­ra­ting system to be pro­tec­ted against unaut­ho­ri­sed access, by ensu­ring that secu­ri­ty con­trols spe­ci­fi­ed for the hard­ware or the ope­ra­ting system con­cer­ned can­not be com­pro­mi­sed. Fur­ther­mo­re, in order to ensu­re that third-par­ty soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons or soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores do not under­mi­ne end users’ secu­ri­ty, it should be pos­si­ble for the gate­kee­per to imple­ment strict­ly neces­sa­ry and pro­por­tio­na­te mea­su­res and set­tings, other than default set­tings, enab­ling end users to effec­tively pro­tect secu­ri­ty in rela­ti­on to third-par­ty soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons or soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores if the gate­kee­per demon­stra­tes that such mea­su­res and set­tings are strict­ly neces­sa­ry and justi­fi­ed and that the­re are no less-rest­ric­ti­ve means to achie­ve that goal. The gate­kee­per should be pre­ven­ted from imple­men­ting such mea­su­res as a default set­ting or as pre-instal­la­ti­on.

(51) Gate­kee­pers are often ver­ti­cal­ly inte­gra­ted and offer cer­tain pro­ducts or ser­vices to end users through their own core plat­form ser­vices, or through a busi­ness user over which they exer­cise con­trol which fre­quent­ly leads to con­flicts of inte­rest. This can include the situa­ti­on wher­eby a gate­kee­per pro­vi­des its own online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices through an online search engi­ne. When offe­ring tho­se pro­ducts or ser­vices on the core plat­form ser­vice, gate­kee­pers can reser­ve a bet­ter posi­ti­on, in terms of ran­king, and rela­ted index­ing and craw­ling, for their own offe­ring than that of the pro­ducts or ser­vices of third par­ties also ope­ra­ting on that core plat­form ser­vice. This can occur for instance with pro­ducts or ser­vices, inclu­ding other core plat­form ser­vices, which are ran­ked in the results com­mu­ni­ca­ted by online search engi­nes, or which are part­ly or enti­re­ly embedded in online search engi­nes results, groups of results spe­cia­li­sed in a cer­tain topic, dis­play­ed along with the results of an online search engi­ne, which are con­side­red or used by cer­tain end users as a ser­vice distinct or addi­tio­nal to the online search engi­ne.

Other instances are tho­se of soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons which are dis­tri­bu­ted through soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores, or vide­os dis­tri­bu­ted through a video-sha­ring plat­form, or pro­ducts or ser­vices that are given pro­mi­nence and dis­play in the news­feed of an online social net­wor­king ser­vice, or pro­ducts or ser­vices ran­ked in search results or dis­play­ed on an online mar­ket­place, or pro­ducts or ser­vices offe­red through a vir­tu­al assi­stant. Such reser­ving of a bet­ter posi­ti­on of gatekeeper’s own offe­ring can take place even befo­re ran­king fol­lo­wing a query, such as during craw­ling and index­ing. For exam­p­le, alre­a­dy during craw­ling, as a dis­co­very pro­cess by which new and updated con­tent is being found, as well as index­ing, which ent­ails sto­ring and orga­ni­s­ing of the con­tent found during the craw­ling pro­cess, the gate­kee­per can favour its own con­tent over that of third par­ties. In tho­se cir­cum­stances, the gate­kee­per is in a dual-role posi­ti­on as inter­me­dia­ry for third-par­ty under­ta­kings and as under­ta­king direct­ly pro­vi­ding pro­ducts or ser­vices. Con­se­quent­ly, such gate­kee­pers have the abili­ty to under­mi­ne direct­ly the con­test­a­bi­li­ty for tho­se pro­ducts or ser­vices on tho­se core plat­form ser­vices, to the detri­ment of busi­ness users which are not con­trol­led by the gate­kee­per.

(52) In such situa­tions, the gate­kee­per should not enga­ge in any form of dif­fe­ren­tia­ted or pre­fe­ren­ti­al tre­at­ment in ran­king on the core plat­form ser­vice, and rela­ted index­ing and craw­ling, whe­ther through legal, com­mer­cial or tech­ni­cal means, in favour of pro­ducts or ser­vices it offers its­elf or through a busi­ness user which it con­trols. To ensu­re that this obli­ga­ti­on is effec­ti­ve, the con­di­ti­ons that app­ly to such ran­king should also be gene­ral­ly fair and trans­pa­rent. Ran­king should in this con­text cover all forms of rela­ti­ve pro­mi­nence, inclu­ding dis­play, rating, lin­king or voice results and should also include instances whe­re a core plat­form ser­vice pres­ents or com­mu­ni­ca­tes only one result to the end user. To ensu­re that this obli­ga­ti­on is effec­ti­ve and can­not be cir­cum­ven­ted, it should also app­ly to any mea­su­re that has an equi­va­lent effect to the dif­fe­ren­tia­ted or pre­fe­ren­ti­al tre­at­ment in ran­king. The gui­de­lines adopted pur­su­ant to Artic­le 5 of Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2019/1150 should also faci­li­ta­te the imple­men­ta­ti­on and enforce­ment of this obli­ga­ti­on.

(53) Gate­kee­pers should not rest­rict or pre­vent the free choice of end users by tech­ni­cal­ly or other­wi­se pre­ven­ting swit­ching bet­ween or sub­scrip­ti­on to dif­fe­rent soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons and ser­vices. This would allow more under­ta­kings to offer their ser­vices, ther­eby ulti­m­ate­ly pro­vi­ding grea­ter choice to the end users. Gate­kee­pers should ensu­re a free choice irre­spec­ti­ve of whe­ther they are the manu­fac­tu­rer of any hard­ware by means of which such soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons or ser­vices are acce­s­sed and should not rai­se arti­fi­ci­al tech­ni­cal or other bar­riers so as to make swit­ching impos­si­ble or inef­fec­ti­ve. The mere offe­ring of a given pro­duct or ser­vice to con­su­mers, inclu­ding by means of pre-instal­la­ti­on, as well as the impro­ve­ment of the offe­ring to end users, such as pri­ce reduc­tions or increa­sed qua­li­ty, should not be con­strued as con­sti­tu­ting a pro­hi­bi­ted bar­ri­er to swit­ching.

(54) Gate­kee­pers can ham­per the abili­ty of end users to access online con­tent and ser­vices, inclu­ding soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons. The­r­e­fo­re, rules should be estab­lished to ensu­re that the rights of end users to access an open inter­net are not com­pro­mi­sed by the con­duct of gate­kee­pers. Gate­kee­pers can also tech­ni­cal­ly limit the abili­ty of end users to effec­tively switch bet­ween dif­fe­rent under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding inter­net access ser­vice, in par­ti­cu­lar through their con­trol over hard­ware or ope­ra­ting systems. This distorts the level play­ing field for inter­net access ser­vices and ulti­m­ate­ly harms end users. It should the­r­e­fo­re be ensu­red that gate­kee­pers do not undu­ly rest­rict end users in choo­sing the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding their inter­net access ser­vice.

(55) A gate­kee­per can pro­vi­de ser­vices or hard­ware, such as weara­ble devices, that access hard­ware or soft­ware fea­tures of a device acce­s­sed or con­trol­led via an ope­ra­ting system or vir­tu­al assi­stant in order to offer spe­ci­fic func­tion­a­li­ties to end users. In that case, com­pe­ting ser­vice or hard­ware pro­vi­ders, such as pro­vi­ders of weara­ble devices, requi­re equal­ly effec­ti­ve inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty with, and access for the pur­po­ses of inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty to, the same hard­ware or soft­ware fea­tures to be able to pro­vi­de a com­pe­ti­ti­ve offe­ring to end users.

(56) Gate­kee­pers can also have a dual role as deve­lo­pers of ope­ra­ting systems and device manu­fac­tu­r­ers, inclu­ding any tech­ni­cal func­tion­a­li­ty that such a device may have. For exam­p­le, a gate­kee­per that is a manu­fac­tu­rer of a device can rest­rict access to some of the func­tion­a­li­ties in that device, such as near-field-com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on tech­no­lo­gy, secu­re ele­ments and pro­ces­sors, authen­ti­ca­ti­on mecha­nisms and the soft­ware used to ope­ra­te tho­se tech­no­lo­gies, which can be requi­red for the effec­ti­ve pro­vi­si­on of a ser­vice pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, the core plat­form ser­vice by the gate­kee­per as well as by any poten­ti­al third-par­ty under­ta­king pro­vi­ding such ser­vice.

(57) If dual roles are used in a man­ner that pre­vents alter­na­ti­ve ser­vice and hard­ware pro­vi­ders from having access under equal con­di­ti­ons to the same ope­ra­ting system, hard­ware or soft­ware fea­tures that are available or used by the gate­kee­per in the pro­vi­si­on of its own com­ple­men­ta­ry or sup­port­ing ser­vices or hard­ware, this could signi­fi­cant­ly under­mi­ne inno­va­ti­on by such alter­na­ti­ve pro­vi­ders, as well as choice for end users. The gate­kee­pers should, the­r­e­fo­re, be requi­red to ensu­re, free of char­ge, effec­ti­ve inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty with, and access for the pur­po­ses of inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty to, the same ope­ra­ting system, hard­ware or soft­ware fea­tures that are available or used in the pro­vi­si­on of its own com­ple­men­ta­ry and sup­port­ing ser­vices and hard­ware. Such access can equal­ly be requi­red by soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons rela­ted to the rele­vant ser­vices pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, the core plat­form ser­vice in order to effec­tively deve­lop and pro­vi­de func­tion­a­li­ties inter­ope­ra­ble with tho­se pro­vi­ded by gate­kee­pers. The aim of the obli­ga­ti­ons is to allow com­pe­ting third par­ties to inter­con­nect through inter­faces or simi­lar solu­ti­ons to the respec­ti­ve fea­tures as effec­tively as the gatekeeper’s own ser­vices or hard­ware.

(58) The con­di­ti­ons under which gate­kee­pers pro­vi­de online adver­ti­sing ser­vices to busi­ness users, inclu­ding both adver­ti­sers and publishers, are often non-trans­pa­rent and opaque. This often leads to a lack of infor­ma­ti­on for adver­ti­sers and publishers about the effect of a given adver­ti­se­ment. To fur­ther enhan­ce fair­ness, trans­pa­ren­cy and con­test­a­bi­li­ty of online adver­ti­sing ser­vices listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on, as well as tho­se that are ful­ly inte­gra­ted with other core plat­form ser­vices of the same under­ta­king, gate­kee­pers should pro­vi­de adver­ti­sers and publishers, and third par­ties aut­ho­ri­sed by adver­ti­sers and publishers, when reque­sted, with free of char­ge access to the gate­kee­pers’ per­for­mance mea­su­ring tools and the data, inclu­ding aggre­ga­ted and non-aggre­ga­ted data, neces­sa­ry for adver­ti­sers, aut­ho­ri­sed third par­ties such as adver­ti­sing agen­ci­es acting on behalf of a com­pa­ny pla­cing adver­ti­sing, as well as for publishers to car­ry out their own inde­pen­dent veri­fi­ca­ti­on of the pro­vi­si­on of the rele­vant online adver­ti­sing ser­vices.

(59) Gate­kee­pers bene­fit from access to vast amounts of data that they coll­ect while pro­vi­ding the core plat­form ser­vices, as well as other digi­tal ser­vices. To ensu­re that gate­kee­pers do not under­mi­ne the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of core plat­form ser­vices, or the inno­va­ti­on poten­ti­al of the dyna­mic digi­tal sec­tor, by rest­ric­ting swit­ching or mul­ti-homing, end users, as well as third par­ties aut­ho­ri­sed by an end user, should be gran­ted effec­ti­ve and imme­dia­te access to the data they pro­vi­ded or that was gene­ra­ted through their acti­vi­ty on the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vices of the gate­kee­per. The data should be recei­ved in a for­mat that can be imme­dia­te­ly and effec­tively acce­s­sed and used by the end user or the rele­vant third par­ty aut­ho­ri­sed by the end user to which the data is por­ted. Gate­kee­pers should also ensu­re, by means of appro­pria­te and high qua­li­ty tech­ni­cal mea­su­res, such as appli­ca­ti­on pro­gramming inter­faces, that end users or third par­ties aut­ho­ri­sed by end users can free­ly port the data con­ti­nuous­ly and in real time. This should app­ly also to any other data at dif­fe­rent levels of aggre­ga­ti­on neces­sa­ry to effec­tively enable such por­ta­bi­li­ty. For the avo­id­ance of doubt, the obli­ga­ti­on on the gate­kee­per to ensu­re effec­ti­ve por­ta­bi­li­ty of data under this Regu­la­ti­on com­ple­ments the right to data por­ta­bi­li­ty under the Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679. Faci­li­ta­ting swit­ching or mul­ti-homing should lead, in turn, to an increa­sed choice for end users and acts as an incen­ti­ve for gate­kee­pers and busi­ness users to inno­va­te.

(60) Busi­ness users that use core plat­form ser­vices pro­vi­ded by gate­kee­pers, and end users of such busi­ness users pro­vi­de and gene­ra­te a vast amount of data. In order to ensu­re that busi­ness users have access to the rele­vant data thus gene­ra­ted, the gate­kee­per should, upon their request, pro­vi­de effec­ti­ve access, free of char­ge, to such data. Such access should also be given to third par­ties con­trac­ted by the busi­ness user, who are acting as pro­ces­sors of this data for the busi­ness user. The access should include access to data pro­vi­ded or gene­ra­ted by the same busi­ness users and the same end users of tho­se busi­ness users in the con­text of other ser­vices pro­vi­ded by the same gate­kee­per, inclu­ding ser­vices pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with or in sup­port of core plat­form ser­vices, whe­re this is inex­tri­ca­bly lin­ked to the rele­vant request. To this end, a gate­kee­per should not use any con­trac­tu­al or other rest­ric­tions to pre­vent busi­ness users from acce­s­sing rele­vant data and should enable busi­ness users to obtain con­sent of their end users for such data access and retrie­val, whe­re such con­sent is requi­red under Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679 and Direc­ti­ve 2002/58/EC. Gate­kee­pers should also ensu­re the con­ti­nuous and real time access to such data by means of appro­pria­te tech­ni­cal mea­su­res, for exam­p­le by put­ting in place high qua­li­ty appli­ca­ti­on pro­gramming inter­faces or inte­gra­ted tools for small volu­me busi­ness users.

(61) The value of online search engi­nes to their respec­ti­ve busi­ness users and end users increa­ses as the total num­ber of such users increa­ses. Under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding online search engi­nes coll­ect and store aggre­ga­ted data­sets con­tai­ning infor­ma­ti­on about what users sear­ched for, and how they inter­ac­ted with, the results with which they were pro­vi­ded. Under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding online search engi­nes coll­ect the­se data from sear­ches under­ta­ken on their own online search engi­ne and, whe­re appli­ca­ble, sear­ches under­ta­ken on the plat­forms of their down­stream com­mer­cial part­ners. Access by gate­kee­pers to such ran­king, query, click and view data con­sti­tu­tes an important bar­ri­er to ent­ry and expan­si­on, which under­mi­nes the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of online search engi­nes. Gate­kee­pers should the­r­e­fo­re be requi­red to pro­vi­de access, on fair, rea­sonable and non-dis­cri­mi­na­to­ry terms, to tho­se ran­king, query, click and view data in rela­ti­on to free and paid search gene­ra­ted by con­su­mers on online search engi­nes to other under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding such ser­vices, so that tho­se third-par­ty under­ta­kings can opti­mi­se their ser­vices and con­test the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vices. Such access should also be given to third par­ties con­trac­ted by a pro­vi­der of an online search engi­ne, who are acting as pro­ces­sors of this data for that online search engi­ne. When pro­vi­ding access to its search data, a gate­kee­per should ensu­re the pro­tec­tion of the per­so­nal data of end users, inclu­ding against pos­si­ble re-iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on risks, by appro­pria­te means, such as anony­mi­sa­ti­on of such per­so­nal data, wit­hout sub­stan­ti­al­ly degra­ding the qua­li­ty or useful­ness of the data. The rele­vant data is anony­mi­sed if per­so­nal data is irrever­si­bly alte­red in such a way that infor­ma­ti­on does not rela­te to an iden­ti­fi­ed or iden­ti­fia­ble natu­ral per­son or whe­re per­so­nal data is ren­de­red anony­mous in such a man­ner that the data sub­ject is not or is no lon­ger iden­ti­fia­ble.

(62) For soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores, online search engi­nes and online social net­wor­king ser­vices listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on, gate­kee­pers should publish and app­ly gene­ral con­di­ti­ons of access that should be fair, rea­sonable and non-dis­cri­mi­na­to­ry. Tho­se gene­ral con­di­ti­ons should pro­vi­de for a Uni­on based alter­na­ti­ve dis­pu­te sett­le­ment mecha­nism that is easi­ly acce­s­si­ble, impar­ti­al, inde­pen­dent and free of char­ge for the busi­ness user, wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the busi­ness user’s own cost and pro­por­tio­na­te mea­su­res aimed at pre­ven­ting the abu­se of the dis­pu­te sett­le­ment mecha­nism by busi­ness users. The dis­pu­te sett­le­ment mecha­nism should be wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the right of busi­ness users to seek redress befo­re judi­cial aut­ho­ri­ties in accordance with Uni­on and natio­nal law. In par­ti­cu­lar, gate­kee­pers which pro­vi­de access to soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores are an important gate­way for busi­ness users that seek to reach end users. In view of the imba­lan­ce in bar­gai­ning power bet­ween tho­se gate­kee­pers and busi­ness users of their soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores, tho­se gate­kee­pers should not be allo­wed to impo­se gene­ral con­di­ti­ons, inclu­ding pri­cing con­di­ti­ons, that would be unfair or lead to unju­sti­fi­ed dif­fe­ren­tia­ti­on.

Pri­cing or other gene­ral access con­di­ti­ons should be con­side­red unfair if they lead to an imba­lan­ce of rights and obli­ga­ti­ons impo­sed on busi­ness users or con­fer an advan­ta­ge on the gate­kee­per which is dis­pro­por­tio­na­te to the ser­vice pro­vi­ded by the gate­kee­per to busi­ness users or lead to a dis­ad­van­ta­ge for busi­ness users in pro­vi­ding the same or simi­lar ser­vices as the gate­kee­per. The fol­lo­wing bench­marks can ser­ve as a yard­stick to deter­mi­ne the fair­ness of gene­ral access con­di­ti­ons: pri­ces char­ged or con­di­ti­ons impo­sed for the same or simi­lar ser­vices by other pro­vi­ders of soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores; pri­ces char­ged or con­di­ti­ons impo­sed by the pro­vi­der of the soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on store for dif­fe­rent rela­ted or simi­lar ser­vices or to dif­fe­rent types of end users; pri­ces char­ged or con­di­ti­ons impo­sed by the pro­vi­der of the soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on store for the same ser­vice in dif­fe­rent geo­gra­phic regi­ons; pri­ces char­ged or con­di­ti­ons impo­sed by the pro­vi­der of the soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on store for the same ser­vice the gate­kee­per pro­vi­des to its­elf. This obli­ga­ti­on should not estab­lish an access right and it should be wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the abili­ty of pro­vi­ders of soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores, online search engi­nes and online social net­wor­king ser­vices to take the requi­red respon­si­bi­li­ty in the fight against ille­gal and unwan­ted con­tent as set out in a Regu­la­ti­on on a sin­gle mar­ket for digi­tal ser­vices.

(63) Gate­kee­pers can ham­per the abili­ty of busi­ness users and end users to unsub­scri­be from a core plat­form ser­vice that they have pre­vious­ly sub­scri­bed to. The­r­e­fo­re, rules should be estab­lished to avo­id a situa­ti­on in which gate­kee­pers under­mi­ne the rights of busi­ness users and end users to free­ly choo­se which core plat­form ser­vice they use. To safe­guard free choice of busi­ness users and end users, a gate­kee­per should not be allo­wed to make it unneces­s­a­ri­ly dif­fi­cult or com­pli­ca­ted for busi­ness users or end users to unsub­scri­be from a core plat­form ser­vice. Clo­sing an account or un-sub­scrib­ing should not be made be more com­pli­ca­ted than ope­ning an account or sub­scrib­ing to the same ser­vice. Gate­kee­pers should not demand addi­tio­nal fees when ter­mi­na­ting con­tracts with their end users or busi­ness users. Gate­kee­pers should ensu­re that the con­di­ti­ons for ter­mi­na­ting con­tracts are always pro­por­tio­na­te and can be exer­cis­ed wit­hout undue dif­fi­cul­ty by end users, such as, for exam­p­le, in rela­ti­on to the rea­sons for ter­mi­na­ti­on, the noti­ce peri­od, or the form of such ter­mi­na­ti­on. This is wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to natio­nal legis­la­ti­on appli­ca­ble in accordance with the Uni­on law lay­ing down rights and obli­ga­ti­ons con­cer­ning con­di­ti­ons of ter­mi­na­ti­on of pro­vi­si­on of core plat­form ser­vices by end users.

(64) The lack of inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty allo­ws gate­kee­pers that pro­vi­de num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices to bene­fit from strong net­work effects, which con­tri­bu­tes to the wea­k­e­ning of con­test­a­bi­li­ty. Fur­ther­mo­re, regard­less of whe­ther end users ‘mul­ti-home’, gate­kee­pers often pro­vi­de num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices as part of their plat­form eco­sy­stem, and this fur­ther exa­cer­ba­tes ent­ry bar­riers for alter­na­ti­ve pro­vi­ders of such ser­vices and increa­ses costs for end users to switch. Wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2018/1972 of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and of the Coun­cil (14) and, in par­ti­cu­lar, the con­di­ti­ons and pro­ce­du­res laid down in Artic­le 61 the­reof, gate­kee­pers should the­r­e­fo­re ensu­re, free of char­ge and upon request, inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty with cer­tain basic func­tion­a­li­ties of their num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices that they pro­vi­de to their own end users, to third-par­ty pro­vi­ders of such ser­vices.

Gate­kee­pers should ensu­re inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty for third-par­ty pro­vi­ders of num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices that offer or intend to offer their num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices to end users and busi­ness users in the Uni­on. To faci­li­ta­te the prac­ti­cal imple­men­ta­ti­on of such inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty, the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned should be requi­red to publish a refe­rence offer lay­ing down the tech­ni­cal details and gene­ral terms and con­di­ti­ons of inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty with its num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices. It should be pos­si­ble for the Com­mis­si­on, if appli­ca­ble, to con­sult the Body of Euro­pean Regu­la­tors for Elec­tro­nic Com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons, in order to deter­mi­ne whe­ther the tech­ni­cal details and the gene­ral terms and con­di­ti­ons published in the refe­rence offer that the gate­kee­per intends to imple­ment or has imple­men­ted ensu­res com­pli­ance with this obli­ga­ti­on.

In all cases, the gate­kee­per and the reque­st­ing pro­vi­der should ensu­re that inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty does not under­mi­ne a high level of secu­ri­ty and data pro­tec­tion in line with their obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on and appli­ca­ble Uni­on law, in par­ti­cu­lar Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679 and Direc­ti­ve 2002/58/EC. The obli­ga­ti­on rela­ted to inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty should be wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the infor­ma­ti­on and choices to be made available to end users of the num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on ser­vices of the gate­kee­per and the reque­st­ing pro­vi­der under this Regu­la­ti­on and other Uni­on law, in par­ti­cu­lar Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679.

(65) To ensu­re the effec­ti­ve­ness of the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down by this Regu­la­ti­on, while also making cer­tain that tho­se obli­ga­ti­ons are limi­t­ed to what is neces­sa­ry to ensu­re con­test­a­bi­li­ty and tack­ling the harmful effects of the unfair prac­ti­ces by gate­kee­pers, it is important to cle­ar­ly defi­ne and cir­cum­scri­be them so as to allow the gate­kee­per to ful­ly com­ply with them, whilst ful­ly com­ply­ing with appli­ca­ble law, and in par­ti­cu­lar Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679 and Direc­ti­ve 2002/58/EC and legis­la­ti­on on con­su­mer pro­tec­tion, cyber secu­ri­ty, pro­duct safe­ty and acce­s­si­bi­li­ty requi­re­ments, inclu­ding Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2019/882 and Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2016/2102 of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and of the Coun­cil (15). The gate­kee­pers should ensu­re the com­pli­ance with this Regu­la­ti­on by design. The­r­e­fo­re, the neces­sa­ry mea­su­res should be inte­gra­ted as much as pos­si­ble into the tech­no­lo­gi­cal design used by the gate­kee­pers.

It may in cer­tain cases be appro­pria­te for the Com­mis­si­on, fol­lo­wing a dia­lo­gue with the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned and after enab­ling third par­ties to make comm­ents, to fur­ther spe­ci­fy some of the mea­su­res that the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned should adopt in order to effec­tively com­ply with obli­ga­ti­ons that are sus­cep­ti­ble of being fur­ther spe­ci­fi­ed or, in the event of cir­cum­ven­ti­on, with all obli­ga­ti­ons. In par­ti­cu­lar, such fur­ther spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­on should be pos­si­ble whe­re the imple­men­ta­ti­on of an obli­ga­ti­on sus­cep­ti­ble to being fur­ther spe­ci­fi­ed can be affec­ted by varia­ti­ons of ser­vices within a sin­gle cate­go­ry of core plat­form ser­vices. For this pur­po­se, it should be pos­si­ble for the gate­kee­per to request the Com­mis­si­on to enga­ge in a pro­cess wher­eby the Com­mis­si­on can fur­ther spe­ci­fy some of the mea­su­res that the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned should adopt in order to effec­tively com­ply with tho­se obli­ga­ti­ons.

The Com­mis­si­on should have dis­creti­on as to whe­ther and when such fur­ther spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­on should be pro­vi­ded, while respec­ting the prin­ci­ples of equal tre­at­ment, pro­por­tio­na­li­ty, and good admi­ni­stra­ti­on. In this respect, the Com­mis­si­on should pro­vi­de the main rea­sons under­ly­ing its assess­ment, inclu­ding any enforce­ment prio­ri­ties. This pro­cess should not be used to under­mi­ne the effec­ti­ve­ness of this Regu­la­ti­on. Fur­ther­mo­re, this pro­cess is wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the powers of the Com­mis­si­on to adopt a decis­i­on estab­li­shing non-com­pli­ance with any of the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on by a gate­kee­per, inclu­ding the pos­si­bi­li­ty to impo­se fines or peri­odic penal­ty payments. The Com­mis­si­on should be able to reopen pro­ce­e­dings, inclu­ding whe­re the spe­ci­fi­ed mea­su­res turn out not to be effec­ti­ve. A reope­ning due to an inef­fec­ti­ve spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­on adopted by decis­i­on should enable the Com­mis­si­on to amend the spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­on pro­s­pec­tively. The Com­mis­si­on should also be able to set a rea­sonable time peri­od within which the pro­ce­e­dings can be reope­ned if the spe­ci­fi­ed mea­su­res turn out not to be effec­ti­ve.

(66) As an addi­tio­nal ele­ment to ensu­re pro­por­tio­na­li­ty, gate­kee­pers should be given an oppor­tu­ni­ty to request the sus­pen­si­on, to the ext­ent neces­sa­ry, of a spe­ci­fic obli­ga­ti­on in excep­tio­nal cir­cum­stances that lie bey­ond the con­trol of the gate­kee­per, such as an unfo­re­seen exter­nal shock that has tem­po­r­a­ri­ly eli­mi­na­ted a signi­fi­cant part of end user demand for the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vice, whe­re com­pli­ance with a spe­ci­fic obli­ga­ti­on is shown by the gate­kee­per to end­an­ger the eco­no­mic via­bi­li­ty of the Uni­on ope­ra­ti­ons of the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned. The Com­mis­si­on should iden­ti­fy the excep­tio­nal cir­cum­stances justi­fy­ing the sus­pen­si­on and review it on a regu­lar basis in order to assess whe­ther the con­di­ti­ons for gran­ting it are still via­ble.

(67) In excep­tio­nal cir­cum­stances, justi­fi­ed on the limi­t­ed grounds of public health or public secu­ri­ty laid down in Uni­on law and inter­pre­ted by the Court of Justi­ce, the Com­mis­si­on should be able to deci­de that a spe­ci­fic obli­ga­ti­on does not app­ly to a spe­ci­fic core plat­form ser­vice. If harm is cau­sed to such public inte­rests that could indi­ca­te that the cost to socie­ty as a who­le of enfor­cing a cer­tain obli­ga­ti­on is, in a spe­ci­fic excep­tio­nal case, too high and thus dis­pro­por­tio­na­te. Whe­re appro­pria­te, the Com­mis­si­on should be able to faci­li­ta­te com­pli­ance by asses­sing whe­ther a limi­t­ed and duly justi­fi­ed sus­pen­si­on or exemp­ti­on is justi­fi­ed. This should ensu­re the pro­por­tio­na­li­ty of the obli­ga­ti­ons in this Regu­la­ti­on wit­hout under­mi­ning the inten­ded ex ante effects on fair­ness and con­test­a­bi­li­ty. Whe­re such an exemp­ti­on is gran­ted, the Com­mis­si­on should review its decis­i­on every year.

(68) Within the time­frame for com­ply­ing with their obli­ga­ti­ons under this Regu­la­ti­on, gate­kee­pers should inform the Com­mis­si­on, through man­da­to­ry report­ing, about the mea­su­res they intend to imple­ment or have imple­men­ted in order to ensu­re effec­ti­ve com­pli­ance with tho­se obli­ga­ti­ons, inclu­ding tho­se mea­su­res con­cer­ning com­pli­ance with Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679, to the ext­ent they are rele­vant for com­pli­ance with the obli­ga­ti­ons pro­vi­ded under this Regu­la­ti­on, which should allow the Com­mis­si­on to ful­fil its duties under this Regu­la­ti­on. In addi­ti­on, a clear and com­pre­hen­si­ble non-con­fi­den­ti­al sum­ma­ry of such infor­ma­ti­on should be made publicly available while taking into account the legi­ti­ma­te inte­rest of gate­kee­pers in the pro­tec­tion of their busi­ness secrets and other con­fi­den­ti­al infor­ma­ti­on. This non-con­fi­den­ti­al publi­ca­ti­on should enable third par­ties to assess whe­ther the gate­kee­pers com­ply with the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on. Such report­ing should be wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to any enforce­ment action by the Com­mis­si­on at any time fol­lo­wing the report­ing. The Com­mis­si­on should publish online a link to the non-con­fi­den­ti­al sum­ma­ry of the report, as well as all other public infor­ma­ti­on based on infor­ma­ti­on obli­ga­ti­ons under this Regu­la­ti­on, in order to ensu­re acce­s­si­bi­li­ty of such infor­ma­ti­on in a usable and com­pre­hen­si­ve man­ner, in par­ti­cu­lar for small and medi­um enter­pri­ses (SMEs).

(69) The obli­ga­ti­ons of gate­kee­pers should only be updated after a tho­rough inve­sti­ga­ti­on into the natu­re and impact of spe­ci­fic prac­ti­ces that may be new­ly iden­ti­fi­ed, fol­lo­wing an in-depth inve­sti­ga­ti­on, as unfair or limi­ting con­test­a­bi­li­ty in the same man­ner as the unfair prac­ti­ces laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on while poten­ti­al­ly esca­ping the scope of the cur­rent set of obli­ga­ti­ons. The Com­mis­si­on should be able to launch an inve­sti­ga­ti­on with a view to deter­mi­ning whe­ther the exi­sting obli­ga­ti­ons need to be updated, eit­her on its own initia­ti­ve or fol­lo­wing a justi­fi­ed request of at least three Mem­ber Sta­tes. When pre­sen­ting such justi­fi­ed requests, it should be pos­si­ble for Mem­ber Sta­tes to include infor­ma­ti­on on new­ly intro­du­ced offers of pro­ducts, ser­vices, soft­ware or fea­tures which rai­se con­cerns of con­test­a­bi­li­ty or fair­ness, whe­ther imple­men­ted in the con­text of exi­sting core plat­form ser­vices or other­wi­se. Whe­re, fol­lo­wing a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on deems it neces­sa­ry to modi­fy essen­ti­al ele­ments of this Regu­la­ti­on, such as the inclu­si­on of new obli­ga­ti­ons that depart from the same con­test­a­bi­li­ty or fair­ness issues addres­sed by this Regu­la­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on should advan­ce a pro­po­sal to amend this Regu­la­ti­on.

(70) Given the sub­stan­ti­al eco­no­mic power of gate­kee­pers, it is important that the obli­ga­ti­ons are applied effec­tively and are not cir­cum­ven­ted. To that end, the rules in que­sti­on should app­ly to any prac­ti­ce by a gate­kee­per, irre­spec­ti­ve of its form and irre­spec­ti­ve of whe­ther it is of a con­trac­tu­al, com­mer­cial, tech­ni­cal or any other natu­re, inso­far as the prac­ti­ce cor­re­sponds to the type of prac­ti­ce that is the sub­ject of one of the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down by this Regu­la­ti­on. Gate­kee­pers should not enga­ge in beha­viour that would under­mi­ne the effec­ti­ve­ness of the pro­hi­bi­ti­ons and obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on. Such beha­viour inclu­des the design used by the gate­kee­per, the pre­sen­ta­ti­on of end-user choices in a non-neu­tral man­ner, or using the struc­tu­re, func­tion or man­ner of ope­ra­ti­on of a user inter­face or a part the­reof to sub­vert or impair user auto­no­my, decis­i­on-making, or choice. Fur­ther­mo­re, the gate­kee­per should not be allo­wed to enga­ge in any beha­viour under­mi­ning inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty as requi­red under this Regu­la­ti­on, such as for exam­p­le by using unju­sti­fi­ed tech­ni­cal pro­tec­tion mea­su­res, dis­cri­mi­na­to­ry terms of ser­vice, unlawful­ly clai­ming a copy­right on appli­ca­ti­on pro­gramming inter­faces or pro­vi­ding mis­lea­ding infor­ma­ti­on. Gate­kee­pers should not be allo­wed to cir­cum­vent their desi­gna­ti­on by arti­fi­ci­al­ly seg­men­ting, divi­ding, sub­di­vi­ding, frag­men­ting or split­ting their core plat­form ser­vices to cir­cum­vent the quan­ti­ta­ti­ve thres­holds laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on.

(71) To ensu­re the effec­ti­ve­ness of the review of gate­kee­per sta­tus, as well as the pos­si­bi­li­ty to adjust the list of core plat­form ser­vices pro­vi­ded by a gate­kee­per, the gate­kee­pers should inform the Com­mis­si­on of all of their inten­ded acqui­si­ti­ons, pri­or to their imple­men­ta­ti­on, of other under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices or any other ser­vices pro­vi­ded within the digi­tal sec­tor or other ser­vices that enable the coll­ec­tion of data. Such infor­ma­ti­on should not only ser­ve the review pro­cess regar­ding the sta­tus of indi­vi­du­al gate­kee­pers, but will also pro­vi­de infor­ma­ti­on that is cru­cial to moni­to­ring broa­der con­test­a­bi­li­ty trends in the digi­tal sec­tor and can the­r­e­fo­re be a useful fac­tor for con­side­ra­ti­on in the con­text of the mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­ons pro­vi­ded for by this Regu­la­ti­on. Fur­ther­mo­re, the Com­mis­si­on should inform Mem­ber Sta­tes of such infor­ma­ti­on, given the pos­si­bi­li­ty of using the infor­ma­ti­on for natio­nal mer­ger con­trol pur­po­ses and as, under cer­tain cir­cum­stances, it is pos­si­ble for the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty to refer tho­se acqui­si­ti­ons to the Com­mis­si­on for the pur­po­ses of mer­ger con­trol. The Com­mis­si­on should also publish annu­al­ly a list of acqui­si­ti­ons of which it has been infor­med by the gate­kee­per. To ensu­re the neces­sa­ry trans­pa­ren­cy and useful­ness of such infor­ma­ti­on for dif­fe­rent pur­po­ses pro­vi­ded for by this Regu­la­ti­on, gate­kee­pers should pro­vi­de at least infor­ma­ti­on about the under­ta­kings con­cer­ned by the con­cen­tra­ti­on, their Uni­on and world­wi­de annu­al tur­no­ver, their field of acti­vi­ty, inclu­ding acti­vi­ties direct­ly rela­ted to the con­cen­tra­ti­on, the tran­sac­tion value or an esti­ma­ti­on the­reof, a sum­ma­ry of the con­cen­tra­ti­on, inclu­ding its natu­re and ratio­na­le, as well as a list of the Mem­ber Sta­tes con­cer­ned by the ope­ra­ti­on.

(72) The data pro­tec­tion and pri­va­cy inte­rests of end users are rele­vant to any assess­ment of poten­ti­al nega­ti­ve effects of the obser­ved prac­ti­ce of gate­kee­pers to coll­ect and accu­mu­la­te lar­ge amounts of data from end users. Ensu­ring an ade­qua­te level of trans­pa­ren­cy of pro­fil­ing prac­ti­ces employed by gate­kee­pers, inclu­ding, but not limi­t­ed to, pro­fil­ing within the mea­ning of Artic­le 4, point (4), of Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679, faci­li­ta­tes con­test­a­bi­li­ty of core plat­form ser­vices. Trans­pa­ren­cy puts exter­nal pres­su­re on gate­kee­pers not to make deep con­su­mer pro­fil­ing the indu­stry stan­dard, given that poten­ti­al ent­rants or start-ups can­not access data to the same ext­ent and depth, and at a simi­lar sca­le. Enhan­ced trans­pa­ren­cy should allow other under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices to dif­fe­ren­tia­te them­sel­ves bet­ter through the use of supe­ri­or pri­va­cy gua­ran­tees.

To ensu­re a mini­mum level of effec­ti­ve­ness of this trans­pa­ren­cy obli­ga­ti­on, gate­kee­pers should at least pro­vi­de an inde­pendent­ly audi­ted descrip­ti­on of the basis upon which pro­fil­ing is per­for­med, inclu­ding whe­ther per­so­nal data and data deri­ved from user acti­vi­ty in line with Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679 is reli­ed on, the pro­ce­s­sing applied, the pur­po­se for which the pro­fi­le is pre­pared and even­tual­ly used, the dura­ti­on of the pro­fil­ing, the impact of such pro­fil­ing on the gatekeeper’s ser­vices, and the steps taken to effec­tively enable end users to be awa­re of the rele­vant use of such pro­fil­ing, as well as steps to seek their con­sent or pro­vi­de them with the pos­si­bi­li­ty of denying or with­dra­wing con­sent. The Com­mis­si­on should trans­fer the audi­ted descrip­ti­on to the Euro­pean Data Pro­tec­tion Board to inform the enforce­ment of Uni­on data pro­tec­tion rules. The Com­mis­si­on should be empowered to deve­lop the metho­do­lo­gy and pro­ce­du­re for the audi­ted descrip­ti­on, in con­sul­ta­ti­on with the Euro­pean Data Pro­tec­tion Super­vi­sor, the Euro­pean Data Pro­tec­tion Board, civil socie­ty and experts, in line with Regu­la­ti­ons (EU) No 182/2011 (16) and (EU) 2018/1725 (17) of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and of the Coun­cil.

(73) In order to ensu­re the full and lasting achie­ve­ment of the objec­ti­ves of this Regu­la­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on should be able to assess whe­ther an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices should be desi­gna­ted as a gate­kee­per wit­hout mee­ting the quan­ti­ta­ti­ve thres­holds laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on; whe­ther syste­ma­tic non-com­pli­ance by a gate­kee­per war­rants impo­sing addi­tio­nal reme­dies; whe­ther more ser­vices within the digi­tal sec­tor should be added to the list of core plat­form ser­vices; and whe­ther addi­tio­nal prac­ti­ces that are simi­lar­ly unfair and limi­ting the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of digi­tal mar­kets need to be inve­sti­ga­ted. Such assess­ment should be based on mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­ons to be car­ri­ed out in an appro­pria­te time­frame, by using clear pro­ce­du­res and dead­lines, in order to sup­port the ex ante effect of this Regu­la­ti­on on con­test­a­bi­li­ty and fair­ness in the digi­tal sec­tor, and to pro­vi­de the requi­si­te degree of legal cer­tain­ty.

(74) The Com­mis­si­on should be able to find, fol­lo­wing a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on, that an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding a core plat­form ser­vice ful­fils all of the over­ar­ching qua­li­ta­ti­ve cri­te­ria for being iden­ti­fi­ed as a gate­kee­per. That under­ta­king should then, in prin­ci­ple, com­ply with all of the rele­vant obli­ga­ti­ons laid down by this Regu­la­ti­on. Howe­ver, for gate­kee­pers that have been desi­gna­ted by the Com­mis­si­on becau­se it is fore­seeable that they will enjoy an ent­ren­ched and dura­ble posi­ti­on in the near future, the Com­mis­si­on should only impo­se tho­se obli­ga­ti­ons that are neces­sa­ry and appro­pria­te to pre­vent that the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned achie­ves an ent­ren­ched and dura­ble posi­ti­on in its ope­ra­ti­ons. With respect to such emer­ging gate­kee­pers, the Com­mis­si­on should take into account that this sta­tus is in prin­ci­ple of a tem­po­ra­ry natu­re, and it should the­r­e­fo­re be deci­ded at a given moment whe­ther such an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices should be sub­jec­ted to the full set of gate­kee­per obli­ga­ti­ons becau­se it has acqui­red an ent­ren­ched and dura­ble posi­ti­on, or the con­di­ti­ons for desi­gna­ti­on are ulti­m­ate­ly not met and the­r­e­fo­re all pre­vious­ly impo­sed obli­ga­ti­ons should be wai­ved.

(75) The Com­mis­si­on should inve­sti­ga­te and assess whe­ther addi­tio­nal beha­viou­ral, or, whe­re appro­pria­te, struc­tu­ral reme­dies are justi­fi­ed, in order to ensu­re that the gate­kee­per can­not fru­stra­te the objec­ti­ves of this Regu­la­ti­on by syste­ma­tic non-com­pli­ance with one or seve­ral of the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on. This is the case whe­re the Com­mis­si­on has issued against a gate­kee­per at least three non-com­pli­ance decis­i­ons within the peri­od of 8 years, which can con­cern dif­fe­rent core plat­form ser­vices and dif­fe­rent obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on, and if the gate­kee­per has main­tai­ned, exten­ded or fur­ther streng­the­ned its impact in the inter­nal mar­ket, the eco­no­mic depen­den­cy of its busi­ness users and end users on the gatekeeper’s core plat­form ser­vices or the ent­rench­ment of its posi­ti­on. A gate­kee­per should be dee­med to have main­tai­ned, exten­ded or streng­the­ned its gate­kee­per posi­ti­on whe­re, despi­te the enforce­ment actions taken by the Com­mis­si­on, that gate­kee­per still holds or has fur­ther con­so­li­da­ted or ent­ren­ched its importance as a gate­way for busi­ness users to reach end users.

The Com­mis­si­on should in such cases have the power to impo­se any reme­dy, whe­ther beha­viou­ral or struc­tu­ral, having due regard to the prin­ci­ple of pro­por­tio­na­li­ty. In this con­text, the Com­mis­si­on should have the power to pro­hi­bit, to the ext­ent that such reme­dy is pro­por­tio­na­te and neces­sa­ry in order to main­tain or resto­re fair­ness and con­test­a­bi­li­ty as affec­ted by the syste­ma­tic non-com­pli­ance, during a limi­t­ed time-peri­od, the gate­kee­per from ente­ring into a con­cen­tra­ti­on regar­ding tho­se core plat­form ser­vices or the other ser­vices pro­vi­ded in the digi­tal sec­tor or ser­vices enab­ling the coll­ec­tion of data that are affec­ted by the syste­ma­tic non-com­pli­ance. In order to enable effec­ti­ve invol­vement of third par­ties and the pos­si­bi­li­ty to test reme­dies befo­re its appli­ca­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on should publish a detail­ed non-con­fi­den­ti­al sum­ma­ry of the case and the mea­su­res to be taken. The Com­mis­si­on should be able to reopen pro­ce­e­dings, inclu­ding whe­re the spe­ci­fi­ed reme­dies turn out not to be effec­ti­ve. A reope­ning due to inef­fec­ti­ve reme­dies adopted by decis­i­on should enable the Com­mis­si­on to amend the reme­dies pro­s­pec­tively. The Com­mis­si­on should also be able to set a rea­sonable time peri­od within which it should be pos­si­ble to reopen the pro­ce­e­dings if the reme­dies pro­ve not to be effec­ti­ve.

(76) Whe­re, in the cour­se of an inve­sti­ga­ti­on into syste­ma­tic non-com­pli­ance, a gate­kee­per offers com­mit­ments to the Com­mis­si­on, the lat­ter should be able to adopt a decis­i­on making the­se com­mit­ments bin­ding on the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned, whe­re it finds that the com­mit­ments ensu­re effec­ti­ve com­pli­ance with the obli­ga­ti­ons set out in this Regu­la­ti­on. That decis­i­on should also find that the­re are no lon­ger grounds for action by the Com­mis­si­on as regards the syste­ma­tic non-com­pli­ance under inve­sti­ga­ti­on. In asses­sing whe­ther the com­mit­ments offe­red by the gate­kee­per are suf­fi­ci­ent to ensu­re effec­ti­ve com­pli­ance with the obli­ga­ti­ons under this Regu­la­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on should be allo­wed to take into account tests under­ta­ken by the gate­kee­per to demon­stra­te the effec­ti­ve­ness of the offe­red com­mit­ments in prac­ti­ce. The Com­mis­si­on should veri­fy that the com­mit­ments decis­i­on is ful­ly respec­ted and rea­ches its objec­ti­ves, and should be entit­led to reopen the decis­i­on if it finds that the com­mit­ments are not effec­ti­ve.

(77) The ser­vices in the digi­tal sec­tor and the types of prac­ti­ces rela­ting to the­se ser­vices can chan­ge quick­ly and to a signi­fi­cant ext­ent. To ensu­re that this Regu­la­ti­on remains up to date and con­sti­tu­tes an effec­ti­ve and holi­stic regu­la­to­ry respon­se to the pro­blems posed by gate­kee­pers, it is important to pro­vi­de for a regu­lar review of the lists of core plat­form ser­vices, as well as of the obli­ga­ti­ons pro­vi­ded for in this Regu­la­ti­on. This is par­ti­cu­lar­ly important to ensu­re that a prac­ti­ce that is likely to limit the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of core plat­form ser­vices or is unfair is iden­ti­fi­ed. While it is important to con­duct a review on a regu­lar basis, given the dyna­mical­ly chan­ging natu­re of the digi­tal sec­tor, in order to ensu­re legal cer­tain­ty as to the regu­la­to­ry con­di­ti­ons, any reviews should be con­duc­ted within a rea­sonable and appro­pria­te time­frame. Mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­ons should also ensu­re that the Com­mis­si­on has a solid evi­den­tia­ry basis on which it can assess whe­ther it should pro­po­se to amend this Regu­la­ti­on in order to review, expand, or fur­ther detail, the lists of core plat­form ser­vices. They should equal­ly ensu­re that the Com­mis­si­on has a solid evi­den­tia­ry basis on which it can assess whe­ther it should pro­po­se to amend the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on or whe­ther it should adopt a dele­ga­ted act updating such obli­ga­ti­ons.

(78) With regard to con­duct by gate­kee­pers that is not cover­ed by the obli­ga­ti­ons set out in this Regu­la­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on should have the pos­si­bi­li­ty to open a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on into new ser­vices and new prac­ti­ces for the pur­po­ses of iden­ti­fy­ing whe­ther the obli­ga­ti­ons set out in this Regu­la­ti­on are to be sup­ple­men­ted by means of a dele­ga­ted act fal­ling within the scope of the empower­ment set out for such dele­ga­ted acts in this Regu­la­ti­on, or by pre­sen­ting a pro­po­sal to amend this Regu­la­ti­on. This is wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the pos­si­bi­li­ty for the Com­mis­si­on to, in appro­pria­te cases, open pro­ce­e­dings under Artic­le 101 or 102 TFEU. Such pro­ce­e­dings should be con­duc­ted in accordance with Coun­cil Regu­la­ti­on (EC) No 1/2003 (18). In cases of urgen­cy due to the risk of serious and irrepa­ra­ble dama­ge to com­pe­ti­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on should con­sider adop­ting inte­rim mea­su­res in accordance with Artic­le 8 of Regu­la­ti­on (EC) No 1/2003.

(79) In the event that gate­kee­pers enga­ge in a prac­ti­ce that is unfair or that limits the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of the core plat­form ser­vices that are alre­a­dy desi­gna­ted under this Regu­la­ti­on but wit­hout such prac­ti­ces being expli­ci­t­ly cover­ed by the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down by this Regu­la­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on should be able to update this Regu­la­ti­on through dele­ga­ted acts. Such updates by way of dele­ga­ted act should be sub­ject to the same inve­sti­ga­to­ry stan­dard and the­r­e­fo­re should be pre­ce­ded by a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on. The Com­mis­si­on should also app­ly a pre­de­fi­ned stan­dard in iden­ti­fy­ing such types of prac­ti­ces. This legal stan­dard should ensu­re that the type of obli­ga­ti­ons that gate­kee­pers could at any time face under this Regu­la­ti­on are suf­fi­ci­ent­ly pre­dic­ta­ble.

(80) In order to ensu­re effec­ti­ve imple­men­ta­ti­on and com­pli­ance with this Regu­la­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on should have strong inve­sti­ga­ti­ve and enforce­ment powers, to allow it to inve­sti­ga­te, enforce and moni­tor the rules laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on, while at the same time ensu­ring the respect for the fun­da­men­tal right to be heard and to have access to the file in the con­text of the enforce­ment pro­ce­e­dings. The Com­mis­si­on should dis­po­se of the­se inve­sti­ga­ti­ve powers also for the pur­po­se of car­ry­ing out mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­ons, inclu­ding for the pur­po­se of updating and revie­w­ing this Regu­la­ti­on.

(81) The Com­mis­si­on should be empowered to request infor­ma­ti­on neces­sa­ry for the pur­po­se of this Regu­la­ti­on. In par­ti­cu­lar, the Com­mis­si­on should have access to any rele­vant docu­ments, data, data­ba­se, algo­rithm and infor­ma­ti­on neces­sa­ry to open and con­duct inve­sti­ga­ti­ons and to moni­tor the com­pli­ance with the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on, irre­spec­ti­ve of who pos­s­es­ses such infor­ma­ti­on, and regard­less of their form or for­mat, their sto­rage medi­um, or the place whe­re they are stored.

(82) The Com­mis­si­on should be able to direct­ly request that under­ta­kings or asso­cia­ti­ons of under­ta­kings pro­vi­de any rele­vant evi­dence, data and infor­ma­ti­on. In addi­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on should be able to request any rele­vant infor­ma­ti­on from com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties within the Mem­ber Sta­te, or from any natu­ral per­son or legal per­son for the pur­po­se of this Regu­la­ti­on. When com­ply­ing with a decis­i­on of the Com­mis­si­on, under­ta­kings are obli­ged to ans­wer fac­tu­al que­sti­ons and to pro­vi­de docu­ments.

(83) The Com­mis­si­on should also be empowered to con­duct inspec­tions of any under­ta­king or asso­cia­ti­on of under­ta­kings and to inter­view any per­sons who could be in pos­ses­si­on of useful infor­ma­ti­on and to record the state­ments made.

(84) Inte­rim mea­su­res can be an important tool to ensu­re that, while an inve­sti­ga­ti­on is ongo­ing, the inf­rin­ge­ment being inve­sti­ga­ted does not lead to serious and irrepa­ra­ble dama­ge for busi­ness users or end users of gate­kee­pers. This tool is important to avo­id deve­lo­p­ments that could be very dif­fi­cult to rever­se by a decis­i­on taken by the Com­mis­si­on at the end of the pro­ce­e­dings. The Com­mis­si­on should the­r­e­fo­re have the power to order inte­rim mea­su­res in the con­text of pro­ce­e­dings ope­ned in view of the pos­si­ble adop­ti­on of a non-com­pli­ance decis­i­on. This power should app­ly in cases whe­re the Com­mis­si­on has made a pri­ma facie fin­ding of inf­rin­ge­ment of obli­ga­ti­ons by gate­kee­pers and whe­re the­re is a risk of serious and irrepa­ra­ble dama­ge for busi­ness users or end users of gate­kee­pers. Inte­rim mea­su­res should only app­ly for a spe­ci­fi­ed peri­od, eit­her one ending with the con­clu­si­on of the pro­ce­e­dings by the Com­mis­si­on, or for a fixed peri­od which can be rene­wed inso­far as it is neces­sa­ry and appro­pria­te.

(85) The Com­mis­si­on should be able to take the neces­sa­ry actions to moni­tor the effec­ti­ve imple­men­ta­ti­on of and com­pli­ance with the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on. Such actions should include the abili­ty of the Com­mis­si­on to appoint inde­pen­dent exter­nal experts and audi­tors to assist the Com­mis­si­on in this pro­cess, inclu­ding, whe­re appli­ca­ble, from com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties of the Mem­ber Sta­tes, such as data or con­su­mer pro­tec­tion aut­ho­ri­ties. When appoin­ting audi­tors, the Com­mis­si­on should ensu­re suf­fi­ci­ent rota­ti­on.

(86) Com­pli­ance with the obli­ga­ti­ons impo­sed by this Regu­la­ti­on should be enforceable by means of fines and peri­odic penal­ty payments. To that end, appro­pria­te levels of fines and peri­odic penal­ty payments should also be laid down for non-com­pli­ance with the obli­ga­ti­ons and breach of the pro­ce­du­ral rules sub­ject to appro­pria­te limi­ta­ti­on peri­ods, in accordance with the prin­ci­ples of pro­por­tio­na­li­ty and ne bis in idem. The Com­mis­si­on and the rele­vant natio­nal aut­ho­ri­ties should coor­di­na­te their enforce­ment efforts in order to ensu­re that tho­se prin­ci­ples are respec­ted. In par­ti­cu­lar, the Com­mis­si­on should take into account any fines and pen­al­ties impo­sed on the same legal per­son for the same facts through a final decis­i­on in pro­ce­e­dings rela­ting to an inf­rin­ge­ment of other Uni­on or natio­nal rules, so as to ensu­re that the over­all fines and pen­al­ties impo­sed cor­re­spond to the serious­ness of the inf­rin­ge­ments com­mit­ted.

(87) In order to ensu­re effec­ti­ve reco­very of fines impo­sed on asso­cia­ti­ons of under­ta­kings for inf­rin­ge­ments that they have com­mit­ted, it is neces­sa­ry to lay down the con­di­ti­ons on which it should be pos­si­ble for the Com­mis­si­on to requi­re payment of the fine from the mem­bers of that asso­cia­ti­on of under­ta­kings whe­re it is not sol­vent.

(88) In the con­text of pro­ce­e­dings car­ri­ed out under this Regu­la­ti­on, the under­ta­king con­cer­ned should be accor­ded the right to be heard by the Com­mis­si­on and the decis­i­ons taken should be wide­ly publi­cis­ed. While ensu­ring the rights to good admi­ni­stra­ti­on, the right of access to the file and the right to be heard, it is essen­ti­al to pro­tect con­fi­den­ti­al infor­ma­ti­on. Fur­ther­mo­re, while respec­ting the con­fi­den­tia­li­ty of the infor­ma­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on should ensu­re that any infor­ma­ti­on on which the decis­i­on is based is dis­c­lo­sed to an ext­ent that allo­ws the addres­see of the decis­i­on to under­stand the facts and con­side­ra­ti­ons that led to the decis­i­on. It is also neces­sa­ry to ensu­re that the Com­mis­si­on only uses infor­ma­ti­on coll­ec­ted pur­su­ant to this Regu­la­ti­on for the pur­po­ses of this Regu­la­ti­on, except whe­re spe­ci­fi­cal­ly envi­sa­ged other­wi­se. Final­ly, it should be pos­si­ble, under cer­tain con­di­ti­ons, for cer­tain busi­ness records, such as com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on bet­ween lawy­ers and their cli­ents, to be con­side­red con­fi­den­ti­al if the rele­vant con­di­ti­ons are met.

(89) When pre­pa­ring non-con­fi­den­ti­al sum­ma­ries for publi­ca­ti­on in order to effec­tively enable inte­re­sted third par­ties to pro­vi­de comm­ents, the Com­mis­si­on should give due regard to the legi­ti­ma­te inte­rest of under­ta­kings in the pro­tec­tion of their busi­ness secrets and other con­fi­den­ti­al infor­ma­ti­on.

(90) The coher­ent, effec­ti­ve and com­ple­men­ta­ry enforce­ment of available legal instru­ments applied to gate­kee­pers requi­res coope­ra­ti­on and coor­di­na­ti­on bet­ween the Com­mis­si­on and natio­nal aut­ho­ri­ties within the remit of their com­pe­ten­ces. The Com­mis­si­on and natio­nal aut­ho­ri­ties should coope­ra­te and coor­di­na­te their actions neces­sa­ry for the enforce­ment of the available legal instru­ments applied to gate­kee­pers within the mea­ning of this Regu­la­ti­on and respect the prin­ci­ple of sin­ce­re coope­ra­ti­on laid down in Artic­le 4 of the Trea­ty on Euro­pean Uni­on (TEU). It should be pos­si­ble for the sup­port from natio­nal aut­ho­ri­ties to the Com­mis­si­on to include pro­vi­ding the Com­mis­si­on with all neces­sa­ry infor­ma­ti­on in their pos­ses­si­on or assi­sting the Com­mis­si­on, at its request, with the exer­cise of its powers so that the Com­mis­si­on is bet­ter able to car­ry out its duties under this Regu­la­ti­on.

(91) The Com­mis­si­on is the sole aut­ho­ri­ty empowered to enforce this Regu­la­ti­on. In order to sup­port the Com­mis­si­on, it should be pos­si­ble for Mem­ber Sta­tes to empower their natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties enfor­cing com­pe­ti­ti­on rules to con­duct inve­sti­ga­ti­ons into pos­si­ble non-com­pli­ance by gate­kee­pers with cer­tain obli­ga­ti­ons under this Regu­la­ti­on. This could in par­ti­cu­lar be rele­vant for cases whe­re it can­not be deter­mi­ned from the out­set whe­ther a gatekeeper’s beha­viour is capa­ble of inf­rin­ging this Regu­la­ti­on, the com­pe­ti­ti­on rules which the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty is empowered to enforce, or both. The natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty enfor­cing com­pe­ti­ti­on rules should report on its fin­dings on pos­si­ble non-com­pli­ance by gate­kee­pers with cer­tain obli­ga­ti­ons under this Regu­la­ti­on to the Com­mis­si­on in view of the Com­mis­si­on ope­ning pro­ce­e­dings to inve­sti­ga­te any non-com­pli­ance as the sole enforcer of the pro­vi­si­ons laid down by this Regu­la­ti­on.

The Com­mis­si­on should have full dis­creti­on to deci­de whe­ther to open such pro­ce­e­dings. In order to avo­id over­lap­ping inve­sti­ga­ti­ons under this Regu­la­ti­on, the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty con­cer­ned should inform the Com­mis­si­on befo­re taking its first inve­sti­ga­ti­ve mea­su­re into a pos­si­ble non-com­pli­ance by gate­kee­pers with cer­tain obli­ga­ti­ons under this Regu­la­ti­on. The natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties should also clo­se­ly coope­ra­te and coor­di­na­te with the Com­mis­si­on when enfor­cing natio­nal com­pe­ti­ti­on rules against gate­kee­pers, inclu­ding with regard to the set­ting of fines. To that end, they should inform the Com­mis­si­on when initia­ting pro­ce­e­dings based on natio­nal com­pe­ti­ti­on rules against gate­kee­pers, as well as pri­or to impo­sing obli­ga­ti­ons on gate­kee­pers in such pro­ce­e­dings. In order to avo­id dupli­ca­ti­on, it should be pos­si­ble for infor­ma­ti­on of the draft decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 11 of Regu­la­ti­on (EC) No 1/2003, whe­re appli­ca­ble, to ser­ve as noti­fi­ca­ti­on under this Regu­la­ti­on.

(92) In order to safe­guard the har­mo­ni­s­ed appli­ca­ti­on and enforce­ment of this Regu­la­ti­on, it is important to ensu­re that natio­nal aut­ho­ri­ties, inclu­ding natio­nal courts, have all neces­sa­ry infor­ma­ti­on to ensu­re that their decis­i­ons do not run coun­ter to a decis­i­on adopted by the Com­mis­si­on under this Regu­la­ti­on. Natio­nal courts should be allo­wed to ask the Com­mis­si­on to send them infor­ma­ti­on or opi­ni­ons on que­sti­ons con­cer­ning the appli­ca­ti­on of this Regu­la­ti­on. At the same time, the Com­mis­si­on should be able to sub­mit oral or writ­ten obser­va­tions to natio­nal courts. This is wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the abili­ty of natio­nal courts to request a preli­mi­na­ry ruling under Artic­le 267 TFEU.

(93) In order to ensu­re cohe­rence and effec­ti­ve com­ple­men­ta­ri­ty in the imple­men­ta­ti­on of this Regu­la­ti­on and of other sec­to­ral regu­la­ti­ons appli­ca­ble to gate­kee­pers, the Com­mis­si­on should bene­fit from the exper­ti­se of a dedi­ca­ted high-level group. It should be pos­si­ble for that high-level group to also assist the Com­mis­si­on by means of advice, exper­ti­se and recom­men­da­ti­ons, when rele­vant, in gene­ral mat­ters rela­ting to the imple­men­ta­ti­on or enforce­ment of this Regu­la­ti­on. The high-level group should be com­po­sed of the rele­vant Euro­pean bodies and net­works, and its com­po­si­ti­on should ensu­re a high level of exper­ti­se and a geo­gra­phi­cal balan­ce. The mem­bers of the high-level group should regu­lar­ly report to the bodies and net­works they repre­sent regar­ding the tasks per­for­med in the con­text of the group, and con­sult them in that regard.

(94) Sin­ce the decis­i­ons taken by the Com­mis­si­on under this Regu­la­ti­on are sub­ject to review by the Court of Justi­ce in accordance with the TFEU, in accordance with Artic­le 261 TFEU, the Court of Justi­ce should have unli­mi­t­ed juris­dic­tion in respect of fines and penal­ty payments.

(95) It should be pos­si­ble for the Com­mis­si­on to deve­lop gui­de­lines to pro­vi­de fur­ther gui­dance on dif­fe­rent aspects of this Regu­la­ti­on or to assist under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices in the imple­men­ta­ti­on of the obli­ga­ti­ons under this Regu­la­ti­on. It should be pos­si­ble for such gui­dance to be based in par­ti­cu­lar on the expe­ri­ence that the Com­mis­si­on obta­ins through the moni­to­ring of com­pli­ance with this Regu­la­ti­on. The issuing of any gui­de­lines under this Regu­la­ti­on is a pre­ro­ga­ti­ve and at the sole dis­creti­on of the Com­mis­si­on and should not be con­side­red to be a con­sti­tu­ti­ve ele­ment in ensu­ring that the under­ta­kings or asso­cia­ti­ons of under­ta­kings con­cer­ned com­ply with the obli­ga­ti­ons under this Regu­la­ti­on.

(96) The imple­men­ta­ti­on of some of the gate­kee­pers’ obli­ga­ti­ons, such as tho­se rela­ted to data access, data por­ta­bi­li­ty or inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty could be faci­li­ta­ted by the use of tech­ni­cal stan­dards. In this respect, it should be pos­si­ble for the Com­mis­si­on, whe­re appro­pria­te and neces­sa­ry, to request Euro­pean stan­dar­di­sati­on bodies to deve­lop them.

(97) In order to ensu­re con­test­a­ble and fair mar­kets in the digi­tal sec­tor across the Uni­on whe­re gate­kee­pers are pre­sent, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Artic­le 290 TFEU should be dele­ga­ted to the Com­mis­si­on in respect of amen­ding the metho­do­lo­gy for deter­mi­ning whe­ther the quan­ti­ta­ti­ve thres­holds regar­ding acti­ve end users and acti­ve busi­ness users for the desi­gna­ti­on of gate­kee­pers are met, which is con­tai­ned in an Annex to this Regu­la­ti­on, in respect of fur­ther spe­ci­fy­ing the addi­tio­nal ele­ments of the metho­do­lo­gy not fal­ling in that Annex for deter­mi­ning whe­ther the quan­ti­ta­ti­ve thres­holds regar­ding the desi­gna­ti­on of gate­kee­pers are met, and in respect of sup­ple­men­ting the exi­sting obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on whe­re, based on a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on has iden­ti­fi­ed the need for updating the obli­ga­ti­ons addres­sing prac­ti­ces that limit the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of core plat­form ser­vices or are unfair, and the update con­side­red falls within the scope of the empower­ment set out for such dele­ga­ted acts in this Regu­la­ti­on.

(98) When adop­ting dele­ga­ted acts under this Regu­la­ti­on, it is of par­ti­cu­lar importance that the Com­mis­si­on car­ri­es out appro­pria­te con­sul­ta­ti­ons during its pre­pa­ra­to­ry work, inclu­ding at expert level, and that tho­se con­sul­ta­ti­ons be con­duc­ted in accordance with the prin­ci­ples laid down in the Inter­in­sti­tu­tio­nal Agree­ment of 13 April 2016 on Bet­ter Law-Making (19). In par­ti­cu­lar, to ensu­re equal par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on in the pre­pa­ra­ti­on of dele­ga­ted acts, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and the Coun­cil should recei­ve all docu­ments at the same time as Mem­ber Sta­tes’ experts, and their experts syste­ma­ti­cal­ly have access to mee­tings of Com­mis­si­on expert groups deal­ing with the pre­pa­ra­ti­on of dele­ga­ted acts.

(99) In order to ensu­re uni­form con­di­ti­ons for the imple­men­ta­ti­on of this Regu­la­ti­on, imple­men­ting powers should be con­fer­red on the Com­mis­si­on to spe­ci­fy mea­su­res to be imple­men­ted by gate­kee­pers in order to effec­tively com­ply with the obli­ga­ti­ons under this Regu­la­ti­on; to sus­pend, in who­le or in part, a spe­ci­fic obli­ga­ti­on impo­sed on a gate­kee­per; to exempt a gate­kee­per, in who­le or in part, from a spe­ci­fic obli­ga­ti­on; to spe­ci­fy the mea­su­res to be imple­men­ted by a gate­kee­per when it cir­cum­vents the obli­ga­ti­ons under this Regu­la­ti­on; to con­clude a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on for desi­gna­ting gate­kee­pers; to impo­se reme­dies in the case of syste­ma­tic non-com­pli­ance; to order inte­rim mea­su­res against a gate­kee­per; to make com­mit­ments bin­ding on a gate­kee­per; to set out its fin­ding of a non-com­pli­ance; to set the defi­ni­ti­ve amount of the peri­odic penal­ty payment; to deter­mi­ne the form, con­tent and other details of noti­fi­ca­ti­ons, sub­mis­si­ons of infor­ma­ti­on, rea­so­ned requests and regu­la­to­ry reports trans­mit­ted by gate­kee­pers; to lay down ope­ra­tio­nal and tech­ni­cal arran­ge­ments in view of imple­men­ting inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty and the metho­do­lo­gy and pro­ce­du­re for the audi­ted descrip­ti­on of tech­ni­ques used for pro­fil­ing con­su­mers; to pro­vi­de for prac­ti­cal arran­ge­ments for pro­ce­e­dings, exten­si­ons of dead­lines, exer­cis­ing rights during pro­ce­e­dings, terms of dis­clo­sure, as well as for the coope­ra­ti­on and coor­di­na­ti­on bet­ween the Com­mis­si­on and natio­nal aut­ho­ri­ties. Tho­se powers should be exer­cis­ed in accordance with Regu­la­ti­on (EU) No 182/2011.

(100) The exami­na­ti­on pro­ce­du­re should be used for the adop­ti­on of an imple­men­ting act on the prac­ti­cal arran­ge­ments for the coope­ra­ti­on and coor­di­na­ti­on bet­ween the Com­mis­si­on and Mem­ber Sta­tes. The advi­so­ry pro­ce­du­re should be used for the remai­ning imple­men­ting acts envi­sa­ged by this Regu­la­ti­on. This is justi­fi­ed by the fact that tho­se remai­ning imple­men­ting acts rela­te to prac­ti­cal aspects of the pro­ce­du­res laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on, such as form, con­tent and other details of various pro­ce­du­ral steps, to prac­ti­cal arran­ge­ments of dif­fe­rent pro­ce­du­ral steps, such as, for exam­p­le, exten­si­on of pro­ce­du­ral dead­lines or right to be heard, as well as to indi­vi­du­al imple­men­ting decis­i­ons addres­sed to a gate­kee­per.

(101) In accordance with Regu­la­ti­on (EU) No 182/2011, each Mem­ber Sta­te should be repre­sen­ted in the advi­so­ry com­mit­tee and deci­de on the com­po­si­ti­on of its dele­ga­ti­on. Such dele­ga­ti­on can include, inter alia, experts from the com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties within the Mem­ber Sta­tes, which hold the rele­vant exper­ti­se for a spe­ci­fic issue pre­sen­ted to the advi­so­ry com­mit­tee.

(102) Whist­le­b­lo­wers can bring new infor­ma­ti­on to the atten­ti­on of com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties which can help the com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties detect inf­rin­ge­ments of this Regu­la­ti­on and enable them to impo­se pen­al­ties. It should be ensu­red that ade­qua­te arran­ge­ments are in place to enable whist­le­b­lo­wers to alert the com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties to actu­al or poten­ti­al inf­rin­ge­ments of this Regu­la­ti­on and to pro­tect the whist­le­b­lo­wers from reta­lia­ti­on. For that pur­po­se, it should be pro­vi­ded in this Regu­la­ti­on that Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2019/1937 of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and of the Coun­cil (20) is appli­ca­ble to the report­ing of brea­ches of this Regu­la­ti­on and to the pro­tec­tion of per­sons report­ing such brea­ches.

(103) To enhan­ce legal cer­tain­ty, the appli­ca­bi­li­ty, pur­su­ant to this Regu­la­ti­on, of Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2019/1937 to reports of brea­ches of this Regu­la­ti­on and to the pro­tec­tion of per­sons report­ing such brea­ches should be reflec­ted in that Direc­ti­ve. The Annex to Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2019/1937 should the­r­e­fo­re be amen­ded accor­din­gly. It is for the Mem­ber Sta­tes to ensu­re that that amend­ment is reflec­ted in their trans­po­si­ti­on mea­su­res adopted in accordance with Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2019/1937, alt­hough the adop­ti­on of natio­nal trans­po­si­ti­on mea­su­res is not a con­di­ti­on for the appli­ca­bi­li­ty of that Direc­ti­ve to the report­ing of brea­ches of this Regu­la­ti­on and to the pro­tec­tion of report­ing per­sons from the date of appli­ca­ti­on of this Regu­la­ti­on.

(104) Con­su­mers should be entit­led to enforce their rights in rela­ti­on to the obli­ga­ti­ons impo­sed on gate­kee­pers under this Regu­la­ti­on through repre­sen­ta­ti­ve actions in accordance with Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2020/1828 of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and of the Coun­cil (21). For that pur­po­se, this Regu­la­ti­on should pro­vi­de that Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2020/1828 is appli­ca­ble to the repre­sen­ta­ti­ve actions brought against inf­rin­ge­ments by gate­kee­pers of pro­vi­si­ons of this Regu­la­ti­on that harm or can harm the coll­ec­ti­ve inte­rests of con­su­mers. The Annex to that Direc­ti­ve should the­r­e­fo­re be amen­ded accor­din­gly. It is for the Mem­ber Sta­tes to ensu­re that that amend­ment is reflec­ted in their trans­po­si­ti­on mea­su­res adopted in accordance with Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2020/1828, alt­hough the adop­ti­on of natio­nal trans­po­si­ti­on mea­su­res in this regard is not a con­di­ti­on for the appli­ca­bi­li­ty of that Direc­ti­ve to tho­se repre­sen­ta­ti­ve actions. The appli­ca­bi­li­ty of Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2020/1828 to the repre­sen­ta­ti­ve actions brought against inf­rin­ge­ments by gate­kee­pers of pro­vi­si­ons of this Regu­la­ti­on that harm or can harm the coll­ec­ti­ve inte­rests of con­su­mers should start from the date of appli­ca­ti­on of Mem­ber Sta­tes’ laws, regu­la­ti­ons and admi­ni­stra­ti­ve pro­vi­si­ons neces­sa­ry to trans­po­se that Direc­ti­ve, or from the date of appli­ca­ti­on of this Regu­la­ti­on, whi­che­ver is the later.

(105) The Com­mis­si­on should peri­odi­cal­ly eva­lua­te this Regu­la­ti­on and clo­se­ly moni­tor its effects on the con­test­a­bi­li­ty and fair­ness of com­mer­cial rela­ti­on­ships in the online plat­form eco­no­my, in par­ti­cu­lar with a view to deter­mi­ning the need for amend­ments in light of rele­vant tech­no­lo­gi­cal or com­mer­cial deve­lo­p­ments. That eva­lua­ti­on should include the regu­lar review of the list of core plat­form ser­vices and the obli­ga­ti­ons addres­sed to gate­kee­pers, as well as their enforce­ment, in view of ensu­ring that digi­tal mar­kets across the Uni­on are con­test­a­ble and fair. In that con­text, the Com­mis­si­on should also eva­lua­te the scope of the obli­ga­ti­on con­cer­ning the inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty of num­ber-inde­pen­dent elec­tro­nic com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices. In order to obtain a broad view of deve­lo­p­ments in the digi­tal sec­tor, the eva­lua­ti­on should take into account the expe­ri­en­ces of Mem­ber Sta­tes and rele­vant stake­hol­ders. It should be pos­si­ble for the Com­mis­si­on in this regard also to con­sider the opi­ni­ons and reports pre­sen­ted to it by the Obser­va­to­ry on the Online Plat­form Eco­no­my that was first estab­lished by Com­mis­si­on Decis­i­on C(2018)2393 of 26 April 2018. Fol­lo­wing the eva­lua­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on should take appro­pria­te mea­su­res. The Com­mis­si­on should main­tain a high level of pro­tec­tion and respect for the com­mon rights and values, par­ti­cu­lar­ly equa­li­ty and non-dis­cri­mi­na­ti­on, as an objec­ti­ve when con­duc­ting the assess­ments and reviews of the prac­ti­ces and obli­ga­ti­ons pro­vi­ded in this Regu­la­ti­on.

(106) Wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the bud­ge­ta­ry pro­ce­du­re and through exi­sting finan­cial instru­ments, ade­qua­te human, finan­cial and tech­ni­cal resour­ces should be allo­ca­ted to the Com­mis­si­on to ensu­re that it can effec­tively per­form its duties and exer­cise its powers in respect of the enforce­ment of this Regu­la­ti­on.

(107) Sin­ce the objec­ti­ve of this Regu­la­ti­on, name­ly to ensu­re a con­test­a­ble and fair digi­tal sec­tor in gene­ral and core plat­form ser­vices in par­ti­cu­lar, with a view to pro­mo­ting inno­va­ti­on, high qua­li­ty of digi­tal pro­ducts and ser­vices, fair and com­pe­ti­ti­ve pri­ces, as well as a high qua­li­ty and choice for end users in the digi­tal sec­tor, can­not be suf­fi­ci­ent­ly achie­ved by the Mem­ber Sta­tes, but can rather, by rea­son of the busi­ness model and ope­ra­ti­ons of the gate­kee­pers and the sca­le and effects of their ope­ra­ti­ons, be bet­ter achie­ved at Uni­on level, the Uni­on may adopt mea­su­res, in accordance with the prin­ci­ple of sub­si­dia­ri­ty as set out in Artic­le 5 TEU. In accordance with the prin­ci­ple of pro­por­tio­na­li­ty, as set out in that Artic­le, this Regu­la­ti­on does not go bey­ond what is neces­sa­ry in order to achie­ve that objec­ti­ve.

(108) The Euro­pean Data Pro­tec­tion Super­vi­sor was con­sul­ted in accordance with Artic­le 42 of Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2018/1725 and deli­ver­ed an opi­ni­on on 10 Febru­ary 2021 (22).

(109) This Regu­la­ti­on respects the fun­da­men­tal rights and obser­ves the prin­ci­ples reco­g­nis­ed by the Char­ter of Fun­da­men­tal Rights of the Euro­pean Uni­on, in par­ti­cu­lar Artic­les 16, 47 and 50 the­reof. Accor­din­gly, the inter­pre­ta­ti­on and appli­ca­ti­on of this Regu­la­ti­on should respect tho­se rights and principles,

CHAPTER I SUBJECT MATTER, SCOPE AND DEFINITIONS

Artic­le 1 Sub­ject mat­ter and scope


1. The pur­po­se of this Regu­la­ti­on is to con­tri­bu­te to the pro­per func­tio­ning of the inter­nal mar­ket by lay­ing down har­mo­ni­s­ed rules ensu­ring for all busi­nesses, con­test­a­ble and fair mar­kets in the digi­tal sec­tor across the Uni­on whe­re gate­kee­pers are pre­sent, to the bene­fit of busi­ness users and end users.

2. This Regu­la­ti­on shall app­ly to core plat­form ser­vices pro­vi­ded or offe­red by gate­kee­pers to busi­ness users estab­lished in the Uni­on or end users estab­lished or loca­ted in the Uni­on, irre­spec­ti­ve of the place of estab­lish­ment or resi­dence of the gate­kee­pers and irre­spec­ti­ve of the law other­wi­se appli­ca­ble to the pro­vi­si­on of ser­vice.

3. This Regu­la­ti­on shall not app­ly to mar­kets rela­ted to:

(a) elec­tro­nic com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons net­works as defi­ned in Artic­le 2, point (1), of Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2018/1972;

(b) elec­tro­nic com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices as defi­ned in Artic­le 2, point (4), of Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2018/1972, other than tho­se rela­ted to num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices.

4. With regard to inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices as defi­ned in Artic­le 2, point (5) of Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2018/1972, this Regu­la­ti­on is wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the powers and respon­si­bi­li­ties gran­ted to the natio­nal regu­la­to­ry and other com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties by vir­tue of Artic­le 61 of that Direc­ti­ve.

5. In order to avo­id the frag­men­ta­ti­on of the inter­nal mar­ket, Mem­ber Sta­tes shall not impo­se fur­ther obli­ga­ti­ons on gate­kee­pers by way of laws, regu­la­ti­ons or admi­ni­stra­ti­ve mea­su­res for the pur­po­se of ensu­ring con­test­a­ble and fair mar­kets. Not­hing in this Regu­la­ti­on pre­clu­des Mem­ber Sta­tes from impo­sing obli­ga­ti­ons on under­ta­kings, inclu­ding under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices, for mat­ters fal­ling out­side the scope of this Regu­la­ti­on, pro­vi­ded that tho­se obli­ga­ti­ons are com­pa­ti­ble with Uni­on law and do not result from the fact that the rele­vant under­ta­kings have the sta­tus of a gate­kee­per within the mea­ning of this Regu­la­ti­on.

6. This Regu­la­ti­on is wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the appli­ca­ti­on of Artic­les 101 and 102 TFEU. It is also wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the appli­ca­ti­on of:

(a) natio­nal com­pe­ti­ti­on rules pro­hi­bi­ting anti-com­pe­ti­ti­ve agree­ments, decis­i­ons by asso­cia­ti­ons of under­ta­kings, con­cer­ted prac­ti­ces and abu­ses of domi­nant posi­ti­ons;

(b) natio­nal com­pe­ti­ti­on rules pro­hi­bi­ting other forms of uni­la­te­ral con­duct inso­far as they are applied to under­ta­kings other than gate­kee­pers or amount to the impo­si­ti­on of fur­ther obli­ga­ti­ons on gate­kee­pers; and

(c) Coun­cil Regu­la­ti­on (EC) No 139/2004 (23) and natio­nal rules con­cer­ning mer­ger con­trol.

7. Natio­nal aut­ho­ri­ties shall not take decis­i­ons which run coun­ter to a decis­i­on adopted by the Com­mis­si­on under this Regu­la­ti­on. The Com­mis­si­on and Mem­ber Sta­tes shall work in clo­se coope­ra­ti­on and coor­di­na­te their enforce­ment actions on the basis of the prin­ci­ples estab­lished in Artic­les 37 and 38.


Artic­le 2 Definitions


For the pur­po­ses of this Regu­la­ti­on, the fol­lo­wing defi­ni­ti­ons app­ly:

(1) ‘gate­kee­per’ means an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices, desi­gna­ted pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3;

(2) ‘core plat­form ser­vice’ means any of the fol­lo­wing:

(a) online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices;

(b) online search engi­nes;

(c) online social net­wor­king ser­vices;

(d) video-sha­ring plat­form ser­vices;

(e) num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices;

(f) ope­ra­ting systems;

(g) web brow­sers;

(h) vir­tu­al assi­stants;

(i) cloud com­pu­ting ser­vices;

(j) online adver­ti­sing ser­vices, inclu­ding any adver­ti­sing net­works, adver­ti­sing exch­an­ges and any other adver­ti­sing inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices, pro­vi­ded by an under­ta­king that pro­vi­des any of the core plat­form ser­vices listed in points (a) to (i);

(3) ‘infor­ma­ti­on socie­ty ser­vice’ means any ser­vice as defi­ned in Artic­le 1(1), point (b), of Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2015/1535;

(4) ‘digi­tal sec­tor’ means the sec­tor of pro­ducts and ser­vices pro­vi­ded by means of, or through, infor­ma­ti­on socie­ty ser­vices;

(5) ‘online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices’ means online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices as defi­ned in Artic­le 2, point (2), of Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2019/1150;

(6) ‘online search engi­ne’ means an online search engi­ne as defi­ned in Artic­le 2, point (5), of Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2019/1150;

(7) ‘online social net­wor­king ser­vice’ means a plat­form that enables end users to con­nect and com­mu­ni­ca­te with each other, share con­tent and dis­co­ver other users and con­tent across mul­ti­ple devices and, in par­ti­cu­lar, via chats, posts, vide­os and recom­men­da­ti­ons;

(8) ‘video-sha­ring plat­form ser­vice’ means a video-sha­ring plat­form ser­vice as defi­ned in Artic­le 1(1), point (aa), of Direc­ti­ve 2010/13/EU;

(9) ‘num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vice’ means a num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vice as defi­ned in Artic­le 2, point (7), of Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2018/1972;

(10) ‘ope­ra­ting system’ means a system soft­ware that con­trols the basic func­tions of the hard­ware or soft­ware and enables soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons to run on it;

(11) ‘web brow­ser’ means a soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on that enables end users to access and inter­act with web con­tent hosted on ser­vers that are con­nec­ted to net­works such as the Inter­net, inclu­ding stan­da­lo­ne web brow­sers as well as web brow­sers inte­gra­ted or embedded in soft­ware or simi­lar;

(12) ‘vir­tu­al assi­stant’ means a soft­ware that can pro­cess demands, tasks or que­sti­ons, inclu­ding tho­se based on audio, visu­al, writ­ten input, ges­tu­res or moti­ons, and that, based on tho­se demands, tasks or que­sti­ons, pro­vi­des access to other ser­vices or con­trols con­nec­ted phy­si­cal devices;

(13) ‘cloud com­pu­ting ser­vice’ means a cloud com­pu­ting ser­vice as defi­ned in Artic­le 4, point (19), of Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2016/1148 of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and of the Coun­cil (24);

(14) ‘soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores’ means a type of online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices, which is focu­sed on soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons as the inter­me­dia­ted pro­duct or ser­vice;

(15) ‘soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on’ means any digi­tal pro­duct or ser­vice that runs on an ope­ra­ting system;

(16) ‘payment ser­vice’ means a payment ser­vice as defi­ned in Artic­le 4, point (3) of Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2015/2366;

(17) ‘tech­ni­cal ser­vice sup­port­ing payment ser­vice’ means a ser­vice within the mea­ning of Artic­le 3, point (j), of Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2015/2366;

(18) ‘payment system for in-app purcha­ses’ means a soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on, ser­vice or user inter­face which faci­li­ta­tes purcha­ses of digi­tal con­tent or digi­tal ser­vices within a soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on, inclu­ding con­tent, sub­scrip­ti­ons, fea­tures or func­tion­a­li­ty, and the payments for such purcha­ses;

(19) ‘iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on ser­vice’ means a type of ser­vice pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with or in sup­port of core plat­form ser­vices that enables any type of veri­fi­ca­ti­on of the iden­ti­ty of end users or busi­ness users, regard­less of the tech­no­lo­gy used;

(20) ‘end user’ means any natu­ral or legal per­son using core plat­form ser­vices other than as a busi­ness user;

(21) ‘busi­ness user’ means any natu­ral or legal per­son acting in a com­mer­cial or pro­fes­sio­nal capa­ci­ty using core plat­form ser­vices for the pur­po­se of or in the cour­se of pro­vi­ding goods or ser­vices to end users;

(22) ‘ran­king’ means the rela­ti­ve pro­mi­nence given to goods or ser­vices offe­red through online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices, online social net­wor­king ser­vices, video-sha­ring plat­form ser­vices or vir­tu­al assi­stants, or the rele­van­ce given to search results by online search engi­nes, as pre­sen­ted, orga­ni­s­ed or com­mu­ni­ca­ted by the under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices, online social net­wor­king ser­vices, video-sha­ring plat­form ser­vices, vir­tu­al assi­stants or online search engi­nes, irre­spec­ti­ve of the tech­no­lo­gi­cal means used for such pre­sen­ta­ti­on, orga­ni­sa­ti­on or com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on and irre­spec­ti­ve of whe­ther only one result is pre­sen­ted or com­mu­ni­ca­ted;

(23) ‘search results’ means any infor­ma­ti­on in any for­mat, inclu­ding tex­tu­al, gra­phic, vocal or other out­puts, retur­ned in respon­se to, and rela­ted to, a search query, irre­spec­ti­ve of whe­ther the infor­ma­ti­on retur­ned is a paid or an unpaid result, a direct ans­wer or any pro­duct, ser­vice or infor­ma­ti­on offe­red in con­nec­tion with the orga­nic results, or dis­play­ed along with or part­ly or enti­re­ly embedded in them;

(24) ‘data’ means any digi­tal repre­sen­ta­ti­on of acts, facts or infor­ma­ti­on and any com­pi­la­ti­on of such acts, facts or infor­ma­ti­on, inclu­ding in the form of sound, visu­al or audio­vi­su­al recor­ding;

(25) ‘per­so­nal data’ means per­so­nal data as defi­ned in Artic­le 4, point (1), of Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679;

(26) ‘non-per­so­nal data’ means data other than per­so­nal data;

(27) ‘under­ta­king’ means an enti­ty enga­ged in an eco­no­mic acti­vi­ty, regard­less of its legal sta­tus and the way in which it is finan­ced, inclu­ding all lin­ked enter­pri­ses or con­nec­ted under­ta­kings that form a group through the direct or indi­rect con­trol of an enter­pri­se or under­ta­king by ano­ther;

(28) ‘con­trol’ means the pos­si­bi­li­ty of exer­cis­ing decisi­ve influence on an under­ta­king, within the mea­ning of Artic­le 3(2) of Regu­la­ti­on (EC) No 139/2004;

(29) ‘inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty’ means the abili­ty to exch­an­ge infor­ma­ti­on and mutual­ly use the infor­ma­ti­on which has been exch­an­ged through inter­faces or other solu­ti­ons, so that all ele­ments of hard­ware or soft­ware work with other hard­ware and soft­ware and with users in all the ways in which they are inten­ded to func­tion;

(30) ‘tur­no­ver’ means the amount deri­ved by an under­ta­king within the mea­ning of Artic­le 5(1) of Regu­la­ti­on (EC) No 139/2004;

(31) ‘pro­fil­ing’ means pro­fil­ing as defi­ned in Artic­le 4, point (4), of Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679;

(32) ‘con­sent’ means con­sent as defi­ned in Artic­le 4, point (11), of Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679;

(33) ‘natio­nal court’ means a court or tri­bu­nal of a Mem­ber Sta­te within the mea­ning of Artic­le 267 TFEU.

CHAPTER II GATEKEEPERS

Artic­le 3 Desi­gna­ti­on of gatekeepers


1. An under­ta­king shall be desi­gna­ted as a gate­kee­per if:

(a) it has a signi­fi­cant impact on the inter­nal mar­ket;

(b) it pro­vi­des a core plat­form ser­vice which is an important gate­way for busi­ness users to reach end users; and

(c) it enjoys an ent­ren­ched and dura­ble posi­ti­on, in its ope­ra­ti­ons, or it is fore­seeable that it will enjoy such a posi­ti­on in the near future.

2. An under­ta­king shall be pre­su­med to satis­fy the respec­ti­ve requi­re­ments in para­graph 1:

(a) as regards para­graph 1, point (a), whe­re it achie­ves an annu­al Uni­on tur­no­ver equal to or abo­ve EUR 7,5 bil­li­on in each of the last three finan­cial years, or whe­re its avera­ge mar­ket capi­ta­li­sa­ti­on or its equi­va­lent fair mar­ket value amoun­ted to at least EUR 75 bil­li­on in the last finan­cial year, and it pro­vi­des the same core plat­form ser­vice in at least three Mem­ber Sta­tes;

(b) as regards para­graph 1, point (b), whe­re it pro­vi­des a core plat­form ser­vice that in the last finan­cial year has at least 45 mil­li­on month­ly acti­ve end users estab­lished or loca­ted in the Uni­on and at least 10 000 year­ly acti­ve busi­ness users estab­lished in the Uni­on, iden­ti­fi­ed and cal­cu­la­ted in accordance with the metho­do­lo­gy and indi­ca­tors set out in the Annex;

(c) as regards para­graph 1, point (c), whe­re the thres­holds in point (b) of this para­graph were met in each of the last three finan­cial years.

3. Whe­re an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices meets all of the thres­holds in para­graph 2, it shall noti­fy the Com­mis­si­on the­reof wit­hout delay and in any event within 2 months after tho­se thres­holds are met and pro­vi­de it with the rele­vant infor­ma­ti­on iden­ti­fi­ed in para­graph 2. That noti­fi­ca­ti­on shall include the rele­vant infor­ma­ti­on iden­ti­fi­ed in para­graph 2 for each of the core plat­form ser­vices of the under­ta­king that meets the thres­holds in para­graph 2, point (b). When­ever a fur­ther core plat­form ser­vice pro­vi­ded by the under­ta­king that has pre­vious­ly been desi­gna­ted as a gate­kee­per meets the thres­holds in para­graph 2, points (b) and (c), such under­ta­king shall noti­fy the Com­mis­si­on the­reof within 2 months after tho­se thres­holds are satis­fied.

Whe­re the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding the core plat­form ser­vice fails to noti­fy the Com­mis­si­on pur­su­ant to the first sub­pa­ra­graph of this para­graph and fails to pro­vi­de within the dead­line set by the Com­mis­si­on in the request for infor­ma­ti­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 21 all the rele­vant infor­ma­ti­on that is requi­red for the Com­mis­si­on to desi­gna­te the under­ta­king con­cer­ned as gate­kee­per pur­su­ant to para­graph 4 of this Artic­le, the Com­mis­si­on shall still be entit­led to desi­gna­te that under­ta­king as a gate­kee­per, based on infor­ma­ti­on available to the Com­mis­si­on.

Whe­re the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices com­plies with the request for infor­ma­ti­on pur­su­ant to the second sub­pa­ra­graph of this para­graph or whe­re the infor­ma­ti­on is pro­vi­ded after the expi­ra­ti­on of the dead­line refer­red to in that sub­pa­ra­graph, the Com­mis­si­on shall app­ly the pro­ce­du­re set out in para­graph 4.

4. The Com­mis­si­on shall desi­gna­te as a gate­kee­per, wit­hout undue delay and at the latest within 45 working days after recei­ving the com­ple­te infor­ma­ti­on refer­red to in para­graph 3, an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices that meets all the thres­holds in para­graph 2.

5. The under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices may pre­sent, with its noti­fi­ca­ti­on, suf­fi­ci­ent­ly sub­stan­tia­ted argu­ments to demon­stra­te that, excep­tio­nal­ly, alt­hough it meets all the thres­holds in para­graph 2, due to the cir­cum­stances in which the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vice ope­ra­tes, it does not satis­fy the requi­re­ments listed in para­graph 1.

Whe­re the Com­mis­si­on con­siders that the argu­ments sub­mit­ted pur­su­ant to the first sub­pa­ra­graph by the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices are not suf­fi­ci­ent­ly sub­stan­tia­ted becau­se they do not mani­fest­ly call into que­sti­on the pre­sump­ti­ons set out in para­graph 2 of this Artic­le, it may reject tho­se argu­ments within the time limit refer­red to in para­graph 4, wit­hout app­ly­ing the pro­ce­du­re laid down in Artic­le 17(3).

Whe­re the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices does pre­sent such suf­fi­ci­ent­ly sub­stan­tia­ted argu­ments mani­fest­ly cal­ling into que­sti­on the pre­sump­ti­ons in para­graph 2 of this Artic­le, the Com­mis­si­on may, not­wi­th­stan­ding the first sub­pa­ra­graph of this para­graph, within the time limit refer­red to in para­graph 4 of this Artic­le, open the pro­ce­du­re laid down in Artic­le 17(3).

If the Com­mis­si­on con­clu­des that the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices was not able to demon­stra­te that the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vices that it pro­vi­des do not satis­fy the requi­re­ments of para­graph 1 of this Artic­le, it shall desi­gna­te that under­ta­king as a gate­kee­per in accordance with the pro­ce­du­re laid down in Artic­le 17(3).

6. The Com­mis­si­on is empowered to adopt dele­ga­ted acts in accordance with Artic­le 49 to sup­ple­ment this Regu­la­ti­on by spe­ci­fy­ing the metho­do­lo­gy for deter­mi­ning whe­ther the quan­ti­ta­ti­ve thres­holds laid down in para­graph 2 of this Artic­le are met, and to regu­lar­ly adjust that metho­do­lo­gy to mar­ket and tech­no­lo­gi­cal deve­lo­p­ments, whe­re neces­sa­ry.

7. The Com­mis­si­on is empowered to adopt dele­ga­ted acts in accordance with Artic­le 49 to amend this Regu­la­ti­on by updating the metho­do­lo­gy and the list of indi­ca­tors set out in the Annex.

8. The Com­mis­si­on shall desi­gna­te as a gate­kee­per, in accordance with the pro­ce­du­re laid down in Artic­le 17, any under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices that meets each of the requi­re­ments of para­graph 1 of this Artic­le, but does not satis­fy each of the thres­holds in para­graph 2 of this Artic­le.

For that pur­po­se, the Com­mis­si­on shall take into account some or all of the fol­lo­wing ele­ments, inso­far as they are rele­vant for the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices under con­side­ra­ti­on:

(a) the size, inclu­ding tur­no­ver and mar­ket capi­ta­li­sa­ti­on, ope­ra­ti­ons and posi­ti­on of that under­ta­king;

(b) the num­ber of busi­ness users using the core plat­form ser­vice to reach end users and the num­ber of end users;

(c) net­work effects and data dri­ven advan­ta­ges, in par­ti­cu­lar in rela­ti­on to that undertaking’s access to, and coll­ec­tion of, per­so­nal data and non-per­so­nal data or ana­ly­tics capa­bi­li­ties;

(d) any sca­le and scope effects from which the under­ta­king bene­fits, inclu­ding with regard to data, and, whe­re rele­vant, to its acti­vi­ties out­side the Uni­on;

(e) busi­ness user or end user lock-in, inclu­ding swit­ching costs and beha­viou­ral bias redu­cing the abili­ty of busi­ness users and end users to switch or mul­ti-home;

(f) a con­glo­me­ra­te cor­po­ra­te struc­tu­re or ver­ti­cal inte­gra­ti­on of that under­ta­king, for instance enab­ling that under­ta­king to cross sub­si­di­se, to com­bi­ne data from dif­fe­rent sources or to levera­ge its posi­ti­on; or

(g) other struc­tu­ral busi­ness or ser­vice cha­rac­te­ri­stics.

In car­ry­ing out its assess­ment under this para­graph, the Com­mis­si­on shall take into account fore­seeable deve­lo­p­ments in rela­ti­on to the ele­ments listed in the second sub­pa­ra­graph, inclu­ding any plan­ned con­cen­tra­ti­ons invol­ving ano­ther under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices or pro­vi­ding any other ser­vices in the digi­tal sec­tor or enab­ling the coll­ec­tion of data.

Whe­re an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding a core plat­form ser­vice that does not satis­fy the quan­ti­ta­ti­ve thres­holds of para­graph 2 fails to com­ply with the inve­sti­ga­ti­ve mea­su­res orde­red by the Com­mis­si­on in a signi­fi­cant man­ner, and that fail­ure per­sists after that under­ta­king has been invi­ted to com­ply within a rea­sonable time limit and to sub­mit obser­va­tions, the Com­mis­si­on may desi­gna­te that under­ta­king as a gate­kee­per on the basis of the facts available to the Com­mis­si­on.

9. For each under­ta­king desi­gna­ted as a gate­kee­per pur­su­ant to para­graph 4 or 8, the Com­mis­si­on shall list in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vices that are pro­vi­ded within that under­ta­king and which indi­vi­du­al­ly are an important gate­way for busi­ness users to reach end users as refer­red to in para­graph 1, point (b).

10. The gate­kee­per shall com­ply with the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­les 5, 6 and 7 within 6 months after a core plat­form ser­vice has been listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on pur­su­ant to para­graph 9 of this Article.


Artic­le 4 Review of the sta­tus of gatekeeper


1. The Com­mis­si­on may, upon request or on its own initia­ti­ve, recon­sider, amend or repeal at any moment a desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on adopted pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3 for one of the fol­lo­wing rea­sons:

(a) the­re has been a sub­stan­ti­al chan­ge in any of the facts on which the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on was based;

(b) the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on was based on incom­ple­te, incor­rect or mis­lea­ding infor­ma­ti­on.

2. The Com­mis­si­on shall regu­lar­ly, and at least every 3 years, review whe­ther the gate­kee­pers con­ti­n­ue to satis­fy the requi­re­ments laid down in Artic­le 3(1). That review shall also exami­ne whe­ther the list of core plat­form ser­vices of the gate­kee­per which are indi­vi­du­al­ly an important gate­way for busi­ness users to reach end users, as refer­red to in Artic­le 3(1), point (b), needs to be amen­ded. Tho­se reviews shall have no sus­pen­ding effect on the gatekeeper’s obli­ga­ti­ons.

The Com­mis­si­on shall also exami­ne at least every year whe­ther new under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices satis­fy tho­se requi­re­ments.

Whe­re the Com­mis­si­on, on the basis of the reviews pur­su­ant to the first sub­pa­ra­graph, finds that the facts on which the desi­gna­ti­on of the under­ta­kings pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices as gate­kee­pers was based, have chan­ged, it shall adopt a decis­i­on con­fir­ming, amen­ding or repe­al­ing the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on.

3. The Com­mis­si­on shall publish and update a list of gate­kee­pers and the list of the core plat­form ser­vices for which they need to com­ply with the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Chap­ter III on an on-going basis.

CHAPTER III PRACTICES OF GATEKEEPERS THAT LIMIT CONTESTABILITY OR ARE UNFAIR

Artic­le 5 Obli­ga­ti­ons for gatekeepers


1. The gate­kee­per shall com­ply with all obli­ga­ti­ons set out in this Artic­le with respect to each of its core plat­form ser­vices listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(9).

2. The gate­kee­per shall not do any of the fol­lo­wing:

(a) pro­cess, for the pur­po­se of pro­vi­ding online adver­ti­sing ser­vices, per­so­nal data of end users using ser­vices of third par­ties that make use of core plat­form ser­vices of the gate­kee­per;

(b) com­bi­ne per­so­nal data from the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vice with per­so­nal data from any fur­ther core plat­form ser­vices or from any other ser­vices pro­vi­ded by the gate­kee­per or with per­so­nal data from third-par­ty ser­vices;

(c) cross-use per­so­nal data from the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vice in other ser­vices pro­vi­ded sepa­ra­te­ly by the gate­kee­per, inclu­ding other core plat­form ser­vices, and vice ver­sa; and

(d) sign in end users to other ser­vices of the gate­kee­per in order to com­bi­ne per­so­nal data,

unless the end user has been pre­sen­ted with the spe­ci­fic choice and has given con­sent within the mea­ning of Artic­le 4, point (11), and Artic­le 7 of Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679.

Whe­re the con­sent given for the pur­po­ses of the first sub­pa­ra­graph has been refu­sed or with­drawn by the end user, the gate­kee­per shall not repeat its request for con­sent for the same pur­po­se more than once within a peri­od of one year.

This para­graph is wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the pos­si­bi­li­ty for the gate­kee­per to rely on Artic­le 6(1), points (c), (d) and (e) of Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679, whe­re appli­ca­ble.

3. The gate­kee­per shall not pre­vent busi­ness users from offe­ring the same pro­ducts or ser­vices to end users through third-par­ty online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices or through their own direct online sales chan­nel at pri­ces or con­di­ti­ons that are dif­fe­rent from tho­se offe­red through the online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices of the gate­kee­per.

4. The gate­kee­per shall allow busi­ness users, free of char­ge, to com­mu­ni­ca­te and pro­mo­te offers, inclu­ding under dif­fe­rent con­di­ti­ons, to end users acqui­red via its core plat­form ser­vice or through other chan­nels, and to con­clude con­tracts with tho­se end users, regard­less of whe­ther, for that pur­po­se, they use the core plat­form ser­vices of the gate­kee­per.

5. The gate­kee­per shall allow end users to access and use, through its core plat­form ser­vices, con­tent, sub­scrip­ti­ons, fea­tures or other items, by using the soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on of a busi­ness user, inclu­ding whe­re tho­se end users acqui­red such items from the rele­vant busi­ness user wit­hout using the core plat­form ser­vices of the gate­kee­per.

6. The gate­kee­per shall not direct­ly or indi­rect­ly pre­vent or rest­rict busi­ness users or end users from rai­sing any issue of non-com­pli­ance with the rele­vant Uni­on or natio­nal law by the gate­kee­per with any rele­vant public aut­ho­ri­ty, inclu­ding natio­nal courts, rela­ted to any prac­ti­ce of the gate­kee­per. This is wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the right of busi­ness users and gate­kee­pers to lay down in their agree­ments the terms of use of lawful com­plaints-hand­ling mecha­nisms.

7. The gate­kee­per shall not requi­re end users to use, or busi­ness users to use, to offer, or to inter­ope­ra­te with, an iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on ser­vice, a web brow­ser engi­ne or a payment ser­vice, or tech­ni­cal ser­vices that sup­port the pro­vi­si­on of payment ser­vices, such as payment systems for in-app purcha­ses, of that gate­kee­per in the con­text of ser­vices pro­vi­ded by the busi­ness users using that gatekeeper’s core plat­form ser­vices.

8. The gate­kee­per shall not requi­re busi­ness users or end users to sub­scri­be to, or regi­ster with, any fur­ther core plat­form ser­vices listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(9) or which meet the thres­holds in Artic­le 3(2), point (b), as a con­di­ti­on for being able to use, access, sign up for or regi­stering with any of that gatekeeper’s core plat­form ser­vices listed pur­su­ant to that Artic­le.

9. The gate­kee­per shall pro­vi­de each adver­ti­ser to which it sup­plies online adver­ti­sing ser­vices, or third par­ties aut­ho­ri­sed by adver­ti­sers, upon the advertiser’s request, with infor­ma­ti­on on a dai­ly basis free of char­ge, con­cer­ning each adver­ti­se­ment pla­ced by the adver­ti­ser, regar­ding:

(a) the pri­ce and fees paid by that adver­ti­ser, inclu­ding any deduc­tions and surchar­ges, for each of the rele­vant online adver­ti­sing ser­vices pro­vi­ded by the gate­kee­per,

(b) the remu­ne­ra­ti­on recei­ved by the publisher, inclu­ding any deduc­tions and surchar­ges, sub­ject to the publisher’s con­sent; and

(c) the metrics on which each of the pri­ces, fees and remu­ne­ra­ti­ons are cal­cu­la­ted.

In the event that a publisher does not con­sent to the sha­ring of infor­ma­ti­on regar­ding the remu­ne­ra­ti­on recei­ved, as refer­red to in point (b) of the first sub­pa­ra­graph, the gate­kee­per shall pro­vi­de each adver­ti­ser free of char­ge with infor­ma­ti­on con­cer­ning the dai­ly avera­ge remu­ne­ra­ti­on recei­ved by that publisher, inclu­ding any deduc­tions and surchar­ges, for the rele­vant adver­ti­se­ments.

10. The gate­kee­per shall pro­vi­de each publisher to which it sup­plies online adver­ti­sing ser­vices, or third par­ties aut­ho­ri­sed by publishers, upon the publisher’s request, with free of char­ge infor­ma­ti­on on a dai­ly basis, con­cer­ning each adver­ti­se­ment dis­play­ed on the publisher’s inven­to­ry, regar­ding:

(a) the remu­ne­ra­ti­on recei­ved and the fees paid by that publisher, inclu­ding any deduc­tions and surchar­ges, for each of the rele­vant online adver­ti­sing ser­vices pro­vi­ded by the gate­kee­per;

(b) the pri­ce paid by the adver­ti­ser, inclu­ding any deduc­tions and surchar­ges, sub­ject to the advertiser’s con­sent; and

(c) the metrics on which each of the pri­ces and remu­ne­ra­ti­ons are cal­cu­la­ted.

In the event an adver­ti­ser does not con­sent to the sha­ring of infor­ma­ti­on, the gate­kee­per shall pro­vi­de each publisher free of char­ge with infor­ma­ti­on con­cer­ning the dai­ly avera­ge pri­ce paid by that adver­ti­ser, inclu­ding any deduc­tions and surchar­ges, for the rele­vant advertisements.


Artic­le 6 Obli­ga­ti­ons for gate­kee­pers sus­cep­ti­ble of being fur­ther spe­ci­fi­ed under Artic­le 8


1. The Gate­kee­per shall com­ply with all obli­ga­ti­ons set out in this Artic­le with respect to each of its core plat­form ser­vices listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(9).

2. The gate­kee­per shall not use, in com­pe­ti­ti­on with busi­ness users, any data that is not publicly available that is gene­ra­ted or pro­vi­ded by tho­se busi­ness users in the con­text of their use of the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vices or of the ser­vices pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vices, inclu­ding data gene­ra­ted or pro­vi­ded by the cus­to­mers of tho­se busi­ness users.

For the pur­po­ses of the first sub­pa­ra­graph, the data that is not publicly available shall include any aggre­ga­ted and non-aggre­ga­ted data gene­ra­ted by busi­ness users that can be infer­red from, or coll­ec­ted through, the com­mer­cial acti­vi­ties of busi­ness users or their cus­to­mers, inclu­ding click, search, view and voice data, on the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vices or on ser­vices pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vices of the gate­kee­per.

3. The gate­kee­per shall allow and tech­ni­cal­ly enable end users to easi­ly un-install any soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons on the ope­ra­ting system of the gate­kee­per, wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the pos­si­bi­li­ty for that gate­kee­per to rest­rict such un-instal­la­ti­on in rela­ti­on to soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons that are essen­ti­al for the func­tio­ning of the ope­ra­ting system or of the device and which can­not tech­ni­cal­ly be offe­red on a stan­da­lo­ne basis by third par­ties.

The gate­kee­per shall allow and tech­ni­cal­ly enable end users to easi­ly chan­ge default set­tings on the ope­ra­ting system, vir­tu­al assi­stant and web brow­ser of the gate­kee­per that direct or steer end users to pro­ducts or ser­vices pro­vi­ded by the gate­kee­per. That inclu­des promp­ting end users, at the moment of the end users’ first use of an online search engi­ne, vir­tu­al assi­stant or web brow­ser of the gate­kee­per listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(9), to choo­se, from a list of the main available ser­vice pro­vi­ders, the online search engi­ne, vir­tu­al assi­stant or web brow­ser to which the ope­ra­ting system of the gate­kee­per directs or steers users by default, and the online search engi­ne to which the vir­tu­al assi­stant and the web brow­ser of the gate­kee­per directs or steers users by default.

4. The gate­kee­per shall allow and tech­ni­cal­ly enable the instal­la­ti­on and effec­ti­ve use of third-par­ty soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons or soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores using, or inter­ope­ra­ting with, its ope­ra­ting system and allow tho­se soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons or soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores to be acce­s­sed by means other than the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vices of that gate­kee­per. The gate­kee­per shall, whe­re appli­ca­ble, not pre­vent the down­loa­ded third-par­ty soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons or soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores from promp­ting end users to deci­de whe­ther they want to set that down­loa­ded soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on or soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on store as their default. The gate­kee­per shall tech­ni­cal­ly enable end users who deci­de to set that down­loa­ded soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on or soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on store as their default to car­ry out that chan­ge easi­ly.

The gate­kee­per shall not be pre­ven­ted from taking, to the ext­ent that they are strict­ly neces­sa­ry and pro­por­tio­na­te, mea­su­res to ensu­re that third-par­ty soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons or soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores do not end­an­ger the inte­gri­ty of the hard­ware or ope­ra­ting system pro­vi­ded by the gate­kee­per, pro­vi­ded that such mea­su­res are duly justi­fi­ed by the gate­kee­per.

Fur­ther­mo­re, the gate­kee­per shall not be pre­ven­ted from app­ly­ing, to the ext­ent that they are strict­ly neces­sa­ry and pro­por­tio­na­te, mea­su­res and set­tings other than default set­tings, enab­ling end users to effec­tively pro­tect secu­ri­ty in rela­ti­on to third-par­ty soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons or soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores, pro­vi­ded that such mea­su­res and set­tings other than default set­tings are duly justi­fi­ed by the gate­kee­per.

5. The gate­kee­per shall not tre­at more favour­a­b­ly, in ran­king and rela­ted index­ing and craw­ling, ser­vices and pro­ducts offe­red by the gate­kee­per its­elf than simi­lar ser­vices or pro­ducts of a third par­ty. The gate­kee­per shall app­ly trans­pa­rent, fair and non-dis­cri­mi­na­to­ry con­di­ti­ons to such ran­king.

6. The gate­kee­per shall not rest­rict tech­ni­cal­ly or other­wi­se the abili­ty of end users to switch bet­ween, and sub­scri­be to, dif­fe­rent soft­ware appli­ca­ti­ons and ser­vices that are acce­s­sed using the core plat­form ser­vices of the gate­kee­per, inclu­ding as regards the choice of Inter­net access ser­vices for end users.

7. The gate­kee­per shall allow pro­vi­ders of ser­vices and pro­vi­ders of hard­ware, free of char­ge, effec­ti­ve inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty with, and access for the pur­po­ses of inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty to, the same hard­ware and soft­ware fea­tures acce­s­sed or con­trol­led via the ope­ra­ting system or vir­tu­al assi­stant listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(9) as are available to ser­vices or hard­ware pro­vi­ded by the gate­kee­per. Fur­ther­mo­re, the gate­kee­per shall allow busi­ness users and alter­na­ti­ve pro­vi­ders of ser­vices pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, core plat­form ser­vices, free of char­ge, effec­ti­ve inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty with, and access for the pur­po­ses of inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty to, the same ope­ra­ting system, hard­ware or soft­ware fea­tures, regard­less of whe­ther tho­se fea­tures are part of the ope­ra­ting system, as are available to, or used by, that gate­kee­per when pro­vi­ding such ser­vices.

The gate­kee­per shall not be pre­ven­ted from taking strict­ly neces­sa­ry and pro­por­tio­na­te mea­su­res to ensu­re that inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty does not com­pro­mi­se the inte­gri­ty of the ope­ra­ting system, vir­tu­al assi­stant, hard­ware or soft­ware fea­tures pro­vi­ded by the gate­kee­per, pro­vi­ded that such mea­su­res are duly justi­fi­ed by the gate­kee­per.

8. The gate­kee­per shall pro­vi­de adver­ti­sers and publishers, as well as third par­ties aut­ho­ri­sed by adver­ti­sers and publishers, upon their request and free of char­ge, with access to the per­for­mance mea­su­ring tools of the gate­kee­per and the data neces­sa­ry for adver­ti­sers and publishers to car­ry out their own inde­pen­dent veri­fi­ca­ti­on of the adver­ti­se­ments inven­to­ry, inclu­ding aggre­ga­ted and non-aggre­ga­ted data. Such data shall be pro­vi­ded in a man­ner that enables adver­ti­sers and publishers to run their own veri­fi­ca­ti­on and mea­su­re­ment tools to assess the per­for­mance of the core plat­form ser­vices pro­vi­ded for by the gate­kee­pers.

9. The gate­kee­per shall pro­vi­de end users and third par­ties aut­ho­ri­sed by an end user, at their request and free of char­ge, with effec­ti­ve por­ta­bi­li­ty of data pro­vi­ded by the end user or gene­ra­ted through the acti­vi­ty of the end user in the con­text of the use of the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vice, inclu­ding by pro­vi­ding, free of char­ge, tools to faci­li­ta­te the effec­ti­ve exer­cise of such data por­ta­bi­li­ty, and inclu­ding by the pro­vi­si­on of con­ti­nuous and real-time access to such data.

10. The gate­kee­per shall pro­vi­de busi­ness users and third par­ties aut­ho­ri­sed by a busi­ness user, at their request, free of char­ge, with effec­ti­ve, high-qua­li­ty, con­ti­nuous and real-time access to, and use of, aggre­ga­ted and non-aggre­ga­ted data, inclu­ding per­so­nal data, that is pro­vi­ded for or gene­ra­ted in the con­text of the use of the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vices or ser­vices pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vices by tho­se busi­ness users and the end users enga­ging with the pro­ducts or ser­vices pro­vi­ded by tho­se busi­ness users. With regard to per­so­nal data, the gate­kee­per shall pro­vi­de for such access to, and use of, per­so­nal data only whe­re the data are direct­ly con­nec­ted with the use effec­tua­ted by the end users in respect of the pro­ducts or ser­vices offe­red by the rele­vant busi­ness user through the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vice, and when the end users opt in to such sha­ring by giving their con­sent.

11. The gate­kee­per shall pro­vi­de to any third-par­ty under­ta­king pro­vi­ding online search engi­nes, at its request, with access on fair, rea­sonable and non-dis­cri­mi­na­to­ry terms to ran­king, query, click and view data in rela­ti­on to free and paid search gene­ra­ted by end users on its online search engi­nes. Any such query, click and view data that con­sti­tu­tes per­so­nal data shall be anony­mi­sed.

12. The gate­kee­per shall app­ly fair, rea­sonable, and non-dis­cri­mi­na­to­ry gene­ral con­di­ti­ons of access for busi­ness users to its soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on stores, online search engi­nes and online social net­wor­king ser­vices listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(9).

For that pur­po­se, the gate­kee­per shall publish gene­ral con­di­ti­ons of access, inclu­ding an alter­na­ti­ve dis­pu­te sett­le­ment mecha­nism.

The Com­mis­si­on shall assess whe­ther the published gene­ral con­di­ti­ons of access com­ply with this para­graph.

13. The gate­kee­per shall not have gene­ral con­di­ti­ons for ter­mi­na­ting the pro­vi­si­on of a core plat­form ser­vice that are dis­pro­por­tio­na­te. The gate­kee­per shall ensu­re that the con­di­ti­ons of ter­mi­na­ti­on can be exer­cis­ed wit­hout undue difficulty.


Artic­le 7 Obli­ga­ti­on for gate­kee­pers on inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty of num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons services


1. Whe­re a gate­kee­per pro­vi­des num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices that are listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(9), it shall make the basic func­tion­a­li­ties of its num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices inter­ope­ra­ble with the num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices of ano­ther pro­vi­der offe­ring or inten­ding to offer such ser­vices in the Uni­on, by pro­vi­ding the neces­sa­ry tech­ni­cal inter­faces or simi­lar solu­ti­ons that faci­li­ta­te inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty, upon request, and free of char­ge.

2. The gate­kee­per shall make at least the fol­lo­wing basic func­tion­a­li­ties refer­red to in para­graph 1 inter­ope­ra­ble whe­re the gate­kee­per its­elf pro­vi­des tho­se func­tion­a­li­ties to its own end users:

(a) fol­lo­wing the listing in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(9):

(i) end-to-end text mes­sa­ging bet­ween two indi­vi­du­al end users;

(ii) sha­ring of images, voice mes­sa­ges, vide­os and other atta­ched files in end to end com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on bet­ween two indi­vi­du­al end users;

(b) within 2 years from the desi­gna­ti­on:

(i) end-to-end text mes­sa­ging within groups of indi­vi­du­al end users;

(ii) sha­ring of images, voice mes­sa­ges, vide­os and other atta­ched files in end-to-end com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on bet­ween a group chat and an indi­vi­du­al end user;

(c) within 4 years from the desi­gna­ti­on:

(i) end-to-end voice calls bet­ween two indi­vi­du­al end users;

(ii) end-to-end video calls bet­ween two indi­vi­du­al end users;

(iii) end-to-end voice calls bet­ween a group chat and an indi­vi­du­al end user;

(iv) end-to-end video calls bet­ween a group chat and an indi­vi­du­al end user.

3. The level of secu­ri­ty, inclu­ding the end-to-end encryp­ti­on, whe­re appli­ca­ble, that the gate­kee­per pro­vi­des to its own end users shall be pre­ser­ved across the inter­ope­ra­ble ser­vices.

4. The gate­kee­per shall publish a refe­rence offer lay­ing down the tech­ni­cal details and gene­ral terms and con­di­ti­ons of inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty with its num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices, inclu­ding the neces­sa­ry details on the level of secu­ri­ty and end-to-end encryp­ti­on. The gate­kee­per shall publish that refe­rence offer within the peri­od laid down in Artic­le 3(10) and update it whe­re neces­sa­ry.

5. Fol­lo­wing the publi­ca­ti­on of the refe­rence offer pur­su­ant to para­graph 4, any pro­vi­der of num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices offe­ring or inten­ding to offer such ser­vices in the Uni­on may request inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty with the num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices pro­vi­ded by the gate­kee­per. Such a request may cover some or all of the basic func­tion­a­li­ties listed in para­graph 2. The gate­kee­per shall com­ply with any rea­sonable request for inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty within 3 months after recei­ving that request by ren­de­ring the reque­sted basic func­tion­a­li­ties ope­ra­tio­nal.

6. The Com­mis­si­on may, excep­tio­nal­ly, upon a rea­so­ned request by the gate­kee­per, extend the time limits for com­pli­ance under para­graph 2 or 5 whe­re the gate­kee­per demon­stra­tes that this is neces­sa­ry to ensu­re effec­ti­ve inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty and to main­tain the neces­sa­ry level of secu­ri­ty, inclu­ding end-to-end encryp­ti­on, whe­re appli­ca­ble.

7. The end users of the num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices of the gate­kee­per and of the reque­st­ing pro­vi­der of num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices shall remain free to deci­de whe­ther to make use of the inter­ope­ra­ble basic func­tion­a­li­ties that may be pro­vi­ded by the gate­kee­per pur­su­ant to para­graph 1.

8. The gate­kee­per shall coll­ect and exch­an­ge with the pro­vi­der of num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices that makes a request for inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty only the per­so­nal data of end users that is strict­ly neces­sa­ry to pro­vi­de effec­ti­ve inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty. Any such coll­ec­tion and exch­an­ge of the per­so­nal data of end users shall ful­ly com­ply with Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679 and Direc­ti­ve 2002/58/EC.

9. The gate­kee­per shall not be pre­ven­ted from taking mea­su­res to ensu­re that third-par­ty pro­vi­ders of num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices reque­st­ing inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty do not end­an­ger the inte­gri­ty, secu­ri­ty and pri­va­cy of its ser­vices, pro­vi­ded that such mea­su­res are strict­ly neces­sa­ry and pro­por­tio­na­te and are duly justi­fi­ed by the gatekeeper.


Artic­le 8 Com­pli­ance with obli­ga­ti­ons for gatekeepers


1. The gate­kee­per shall ensu­re and demon­stra­te com­pli­ance with the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­les 5, 6 and 7 of this Regu­la­ti­on. The mea­su­res imple­men­ted by the gate­kee­per to ensu­re com­pli­ance with tho­se Artic­les shall be effec­ti­ve in achie­ving the objec­ti­ves of this Regu­la­ti­on and of the rele­vant obli­ga­ti­on. The gate­kee­per shall ensu­re that the imple­men­ta­ti­on of tho­se mea­su­res com­plies with appli­ca­ble law, in par­ti­cu­lar Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679, Direc­ti­ve 2002/58/EC, legis­la­ti­on on cyber secu­ri­ty, con­su­mer pro­tec­tion, pro­duct safe­ty, as well as with the acce­s­si­bi­li­ty requi­re­ments.

2. The Com­mis­si­on may, on its own initia­ti­ve or at the request of a gate­kee­per pur­su­ant to para­graph 3 of this Artic­le, open pro­ce­e­dings pur­su­ant to Artic­le 20.

The Com­mis­si­on may adopt an imple­men­ting act, spe­ci­fy­ing the mea­su­res that the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned is to imple­ment in order to effec­tively com­ply with the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­les 6 and 7. That imple­men­ting act shall be adopted within 6 months from the ope­ning of pro­ce­e­dings pur­su­ant to Artic­le 20 in accordance with the advi­so­ry pro­ce­du­re refer­red to in Artic­le 50(2).

When ope­ning pro­ce­e­dings on its own initia­ti­ve for cir­cum­ven­ti­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 13, such mea­su­res may con­cern the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­les 5, 6 and 7.

3. A gate­kee­per may request the Com­mis­si­on to enga­ge in a pro­cess to deter­mi­ne whe­ther the mea­su­res that that gate­kee­per intends to imple­ment or has imple­men­ted to ensu­re com­pli­ance with Artic­les 6 and 7 are effec­ti­ve in achie­ving the objec­ti­ve of the rele­vant obli­ga­ti­on in the spe­ci­fic cir­cum­stances of the gate­kee­per. The Com­mis­si­on shall have dis­creti­on in deci­ding whe­ther to enga­ge in such a pro­cess, respec­ting the prin­ci­ples of equal tre­at­ment, pro­por­tio­na­li­ty and good admi­ni­stra­ti­on.

In its request, the gate­kee­per shall pro­vi­de a rea­so­ned sub­mis­si­on to explain the mea­su­res that it intends to imple­ment or has imple­men­ted. The gate­kee­per shall fur­ther­mo­re pro­vi­de a non-con­fi­den­ti­al ver­si­on of its rea­so­ned sub­mis­si­on that may be shared with third par­ties pur­su­ant to para­graph 6.

4. Para­graphs 2 and 3 of this Artic­le are wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the powers of the Com­mis­si­on under Artic­les 29, 30 and 31.

5. With a view of adop­ting the decis­i­on under para­graph 2, the Com­mis­si­on shall com­mu­ni­ca­te its preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings to the gate­kee­per within 3 months from the ope­ning of the pro­ce­e­dings under Artic­le 20. In the preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings, the Com­mis­si­on shall explain the mea­su­res that it is con­side­ring taking or that it con­siders the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned should take in order to effec­tively address the preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings.

6. In order to effec­tively enable inte­re­sted third par­ties to pro­vi­de comm­ents, the Com­mis­si­on shall, when com­mu­ni­ca­ting its preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings to the gate­kee­per pur­su­ant to para­graph 5 or as soon as pos­si­ble the­re­af­ter, publish a non-con­fi­den­ti­al sum­ma­ry of the case and the mea­su­res that it is con­side­ring taking or that it con­siders the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned should take. The Com­mis­si­on shall spe­ci­fy a rea­sonable time­frame within which such comm­ents are to be pro­vi­ded.

7. In spe­ci­fy­ing the mea­su­res under para­graph 2, the Com­mis­si­on shall ensu­re that the mea­su­res are effec­ti­ve in achie­ving the objec­ti­ves of this Regu­la­ti­on and the rele­vant obli­ga­ti­on, and pro­por­tio­na­te in the spe­ci­fic cir­cum­stances of the gate­kee­per and the rele­vant ser­vice.

8. For the pur­po­ses of spe­ci­fy­ing the obli­ga­ti­ons under Artic­le 6(11) and (12), the Com­mis­si­on shall also assess whe­ther the inten­ded or imple­men­ted mea­su­res ensu­re that the­re is no remai­ning imba­lan­ce of rights and obli­ga­ti­ons on busi­ness users and that the mea­su­res do not them­sel­ves con­fer an advan­ta­ge on the gate­kee­per which is dis­pro­por­tio­na­te to the ser­vice pro­vi­ded by the gate­kee­per to busi­ness users.

9. In respect of pro­ce­e­dings pur­su­ant to para­graph 2, the Com­mis­si­on may, upon request or on its own initia­ti­ve, deci­de to reopen them whe­re:

(a) the­re has been a mate­ri­al chan­ge in any of the facts on which the decis­i­on was based; or

(b) the decis­i­on was based on incom­ple­te, incor­rect or mis­lea­ding infor­ma­ti­on; or

(c) the mea­su­res as spe­ci­fi­ed in the decis­i­on are not effective.


Artic­le 9 Suspension


1. Whe­re the gate­kee­per demon­stra­tes in a rea­so­ned request that com­pli­ance with a spe­ci­fic obli­ga­ti­on laid down in Artic­le 5, 6 or 7 for a core plat­form ser­vice listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(9) would end­an­ger, due to excep­tio­nal cir­cum­stances bey­ond the gatekeeper’s con­trol, the eco­no­mic via­bi­li­ty of its ope­ra­ti­on in the Uni­on, the Com­mis­si­on may adopt an imple­men­ting act set­ting out its decis­i­on to excep­tio­nal­ly sus­pend, in who­le or in part, the spe­ci­fic obli­ga­ti­on refer­red to in that rea­so­ned request (‘the sus­pen­si­on decis­i­on’). In that imple­men­ting act, the Com­mis­si­on shall sub­stan­tia­te its sus­pen­si­on decis­i­on by iden­ti­fy­ing the excep­tio­nal cir­cum­stances justi­fy­ing the sus­pen­si­on. That imple­men­ting act shall be limi­t­ed to the ext­ent and the dura­ti­on neces­sa­ry to address such thre­at to the gatekeeper’s via­bi­li­ty. The Com­mis­si­on shall aim to adopt that imple­men­ting act wit­hout delay and at the latest 3 months fol­lo­wing rece­ipt of a com­ple­te rea­so­ned request. That imple­men­ting act shall be adopted in accordance with the advi­so­ry pro­ce­du­re refer­red to in Artic­le 50(2).

2. Whe­re sus­pen­si­on is gran­ted pur­su­ant to para­graph 1, the Com­mis­si­on shall review its sus­pen­si­on decis­i­on every year, unless a shorter inter­val is spe­ci­fi­ed in that decis­i­on. Fol­lo­wing such a review the Com­mis­si­on shall eit­her whol­ly or part­ly lift the sus­pen­si­on, or deci­de that the con­di­ti­ons in para­graph 1 con­ti­n­ue to be met.

3. In cases of urgen­cy, the Com­mis­si­on may, acting on a rea­so­ned request by a gate­kee­per, pro­vi­sio­nal­ly sus­pend the appli­ca­ti­on of a spe­ci­fic obli­ga­ti­on refer­red to in para­graph 1 to one or more indi­vi­du­al core plat­form ser­vices alre­a­dy pri­or to the decis­i­on pur­su­ant to that para­graph. Such a request may be made and gran­ted at any time pen­ding the assess­ment of the Com­mis­si­on pur­su­ant to para­graph 1.

4. In asses­sing the request refer­red to in para­graphs 1 and 3, the Com­mis­si­on shall take into account, in par­ti­cu­lar, the impact of the com­pli­ance with the spe­ci­fic obli­ga­ti­on on the eco­no­mic via­bi­li­ty of the ope­ra­ti­on of the gate­kee­per in the Uni­on as well as on third par­ties, in par­ti­cu­lar SMEs and con­su­mers. The sus­pen­si­on may be made sub­ject to con­di­ti­ons and obli­ga­ti­ons to be defi­ned by the Com­mis­si­on in order to ensu­re a fair balan­ce bet­ween tho­se inte­rests and the objec­ti­ves of this Regulation.


Artic­le 10 Exemp­ti­on for grounds of public health and public security


1. The Com­mis­si­on may, acting on a rea­so­ned request by a gate­kee­per or on its own initia­ti­ve, adopt an imple­men­ting act set­ting out its decis­i­on, to exempt that gate­kee­per, in who­le or in part, from a spe­ci­fic obli­ga­ti­on laid down in Artic­le 5, 6 or 7 in rela­ti­on to a core plat­form ser­vice listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(9), whe­re such exemp­ti­on is justi­fi­ed on the grounds set out in para­graph 3 of this Artic­le (‘the exemp­ti­on decis­i­on’). The Com­mis­si­on shall adopt the exemp­ti­on decis­i­on within 3 months after recei­ving a com­ple­te rea­so­ned request and shall pro­vi­de a rea­so­ned state­ment explai­ning the grounds for the exemp­ti­on. That imple­men­ting act shall be adopted in accordance with the advi­so­ry pro­ce­du­re refer­red to in Artic­le 50(2).

2. Whe­re an exemp­ti­on is gran­ted pur­su­ant to para­graph 1, the Com­mis­si­on shall review its exemp­ti­on decis­i­on if the ground for the exemp­ti­on no lon­ger exists or at least every year. Fol­lo­wing such a review, the Com­mis­si­on shall eit­her whol­ly or par­ti­al­ly lift the exemp­ti­on, or deci­de that the con­di­ti­ons of para­graph 1 con­ti­n­ue to be met.

3. An exemp­ti­on pur­su­ant to para­graph 1 may only be gran­ted on grounds of public health or public secu­ri­ty.

4. In cases of urgen­cy, the Com­mis­si­on may, acting on a rea­so­ned request by a gate­kee­per or on its own initia­ti­ve, pro­vi­sio­nal­ly sus­pend the appli­ca­ti­on of a spe­ci­fic obli­ga­ti­on refer­red to in para­graph 1 to one or more indi­vi­du­al core plat­form ser­vices alre­a­dy pri­or to the decis­i­on pur­su­ant to that para­graph. Such a request may be made and gran­ted at any time pen­ding the assess­ment of the Com­mis­si­on pur­su­ant to para­graph 1.

5. In asses­sing the request refer­red to in para­graphs 1 and 4, the Com­mis­si­on shall take into account, in par­ti­cu­lar, the impact of the com­pli­ance with the spe­ci­fic obli­ga­ti­on on the grounds in para­graph 3, as well as the effects on the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned and on third par­ties. The Com­mis­si­on may sub­ject the sus­pen­si­on to con­di­ti­ons and obli­ga­ti­ons in order to ensu­re a fair balan­ce bet­ween the goals pur­sued by the grounds in para­graph 3 and the objec­ti­ves of this Regulation.


Artic­le 11 Reporting


1. Within 6 months after its desi­gna­ti­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3, and in accordance with Artic­le 3(10), the gate­kee­per shall pro­vi­de the Com­mis­si­on with a report describ­ing in a detail­ed and trans­pa­rent man­ner the mea­su­res it has imple­men­ted to ensu­re com­pli­ance with the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­les 5, 6 and 7.

2. Within the dead­line refer­red to in para­graph 1, the gate­kee­per shall publish and pro­vi­de the Com­mis­si­on with a non-con­fi­den­ti­al sum­ma­ry of that report.

The gate­kee­per shall update that report and that non-con­fi­den­ti­al sum­ma­ry at least annu­al­ly.

The Com­mis­si­on shall make a link to that non-con­fi­den­ti­al sum­ma­ry available on its website.


Artic­le 12 Updating obli­ga­ti­ons for gatekeepers


1. The Com­mis­si­on is empowered to adopt dele­ga­ted acts in accordance with Artic­le 49 to sup­ple­ment this Regu­la­ti­on with regard to the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­les 5 and 6. Tho­se dele­ga­ted acts shall be based on a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 19 that has iden­ti­fi­ed the need to keep tho­se obli­ga­ti­ons up to date in order to address prac­ti­ces that limit the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of core plat­form ser­vices or that are unfair in the same way as the prac­ti­ces addres­sed by the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­les 5 and 6.

2. The scope of a dele­ga­ted act adopted in accordance with para­graph 1 shall be limi­t­ed to:

(a) exten­ding an obli­ga­ti­on that applies only in rela­ti­on to cer­tain core plat­form ser­vices, to other core plat­form ser­vices listed in Artic­le 2, point (2);

(b) exten­ding an obli­ga­ti­on that bene­fits cer­tain busi­ness users or end users so that it bene­fits other busi­ness users or end users;

(c) spe­ci­fy­ing the man­ner in which the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­les 5 and 6 are to be per­for­med by gate­kee­pers in order to ensu­re effec­ti­ve com­pli­ance with tho­se obli­ga­ti­ons;

(d) exten­ding an obli­ga­ti­on that applies only in rela­ti­on to cer­tain ser­vices pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, core plat­form ser­vices to other ser­vices pro­vi­ded tog­e­ther with, or in sup­port of, core plat­form ser­vices;

(e) exten­ding an obli­ga­ti­on that applies only in rela­ti­on to cer­tain types of data to app­ly in rela­ti­on to other types of data;

(f) adding fur­ther con­di­ti­ons whe­re an obli­ga­ti­on impo­ses cer­tain con­di­ti­ons on the beha­viour of a gate­kee­per; or

(g) app­ly­ing an obli­ga­ti­on that governs the rela­ti­on­ship bet­ween seve­ral core plat­form ser­vices of the gate­kee­per to the rela­ti­on­ship bet­ween a core plat­form ser­vice and other ser­vices of the gate­kee­per.

3. The Com­mis­si­on is empowered to adopt dele­ga­ted acts in accordance with Artic­le 49 to amend this Regu­la­ti­on with regard to the list of basic func­tion­a­li­ties iden­ti­fi­ed in Artic­le 7(2), by adding or remo­ving func­tion­a­li­ties of num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices.

Tho­se dele­ga­ted acts shall be based on a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 19 that has iden­ti­fi­ed the need to keep tho­se obli­ga­ti­ons up to date in order to address prac­ti­ces that limit the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of core plat­form ser­vices or that are unfair in the same way as the prac­ti­ces addres­sed by the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­le 7.

4. The Com­mis­si­on is empowered to adopt dele­ga­ted acts in accordance with Artic­le 49 to sup­ple­ment this Regu­la­ti­on in respect of the obli­ga­ti­ons in Artic­le 7 by spe­ci­fy­ing the man­ner in which tho­se obli­ga­ti­ons are to be per­for­med in order to ensu­re effec­ti­ve com­pli­ance with tho­se obli­ga­ti­ons. Tho­se dele­ga­ted acts shall be based on a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 19, which has iden­ti­fi­ed the need to keep tho­se obli­ga­ti­ons up to date in order to address prac­ti­ces that limit the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of core plat­form ser­vices or that are unfair in the same way as the prac­ti­ces addres­sed by the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­le 7.

5. A prac­ti­ce as refer­red to in para­graphs 1, 3 and 4 shall be con­side­red to limit the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of core plat­form ser­vices or to be unfair whe­re:

(a) that prac­ti­ce is enga­ged in by gate­kee­pers and is capa­ble of impe­ding inno­va­ti­on and limi­ting choice for busi­ness users and end users becau­se it:

(i) affects or risks affec­ting the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of a core plat­form ser­vice or other ser­vices in the digi­tal sec­tor on a lasting basis due to the crea­ti­on or streng­thening of bar­riers to ent­ry for other under­ta­kings or to expand as pro­vi­ders of a core plat­form ser­vice or other ser­vices in the digi­tal sec­tor; or

(ii) pre­vents other ope­ra­tors from having the same access to a key input as the gate­kee­per; or

(b) the­re is an imba­lan­ce bet­ween the rights and obli­ga­ti­ons of busi­ness users and the gate­kee­per obta­ins an advan­ta­ge from busi­ness users that is dis­pro­por­tio­na­te to the ser­vice pro­vi­ded by that gate­kee­per to tho­se busi­ness users.


Artic­le 13 Anti-circumvention


1. An under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices shall not seg­ment, divi­de, sub­di­vi­de, frag­ment or split tho­se ser­vices through con­trac­tu­al, com­mer­cial, tech­ni­cal or any other means in order to cir­cum­vent the quan­ti­ta­ti­ve thres­holds laid down in Artic­le 3(2). No such prac­ti­ce of an under­ta­king shall pre­vent the Com­mis­si­on from desi­gna­ting it as a gate­kee­per pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(4).

2. The Com­mis­si­on may, when it suspects that an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices is enga­ged in a prac­ti­ce laid down in para­graph 1, requi­re from that under­ta­king any infor­ma­ti­on that it deems neces­sa­ry to deter­mi­ne whe­ther that under­ta­king has enga­ged in such a prac­ti­ce.

3. The gate­kee­per shall ensu­re that the obli­ga­ti­ons of Artic­les 5, 6 and 7 are ful­ly and effec­tively com­plied with.

4. The gate­kee­per shall not enga­ge in any beha­viour that under­mi­nes effec­ti­ve com­pli­ance with the obli­ga­ti­ons of Artic­les 5, 6 and 7 regard­less of whe­ther that beha­viour is of a con­trac­tu­al, com­mer­cial or tech­ni­cal natu­re, or of any other natu­re, or con­sists in the use of beha­viou­ral tech­ni­ques or inter­face design.

5. Whe­re con­sent for coll­ec­ting, pro­ce­s­sing, cross-using and sha­ring of per­so­nal data is requi­red to ensu­re com­pli­ance with this Regu­la­ti­on, a gate­kee­per shall take the neces­sa­ry steps eit­her to enable busi­ness users to direct­ly obtain the requi­red con­sent to their pro­ce­s­sing, whe­re that con­sent is requi­red under Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679 or Direc­ti­ve 2002/58/EC, or to com­ply with Uni­on data pro­tec­tion and pri­va­cy rules and prin­ci­ples in other ways, inclu­ding by pro­vi­ding busi­ness users with duly anony­mi­sed data whe­re appro­pria­te. The gate­kee­per shall not make the obtai­ning of that con­sent by the busi­ness user more bur­den­so­me than for its own ser­vices.

6. The gate­kee­per shall not degra­de the con­di­ti­ons or qua­li­ty of any of the core plat­form ser­vices pro­vi­ded to busi­ness users or end users who avail them­sel­ves of the rights or choices laid down in Artic­les 5, 6 and 7, or make the exer­cise of tho­se rights or choices undu­ly dif­fi­cult, inclu­ding by offe­ring choices to the end-user in a non-neu­tral man­ner, or by sub­ver­ting end users’ or busi­ness users’ auto­no­my, decis­i­on-making, or free choice via the struc­tu­re, design, func­tion or man­ner of ope­ra­ti­on of a user inter­face or a part the­reof.

7. Whe­re the gate­kee­per cir­cum­vents or attempts to cir­cum­vent any of the obli­ga­ti­ons in Artic­le 5, 6, or 7 in a man­ner descri­bed in para­graphs 4, 5 and 6 of this Artic­le, the Com­mis­si­on may open pro­ce­e­dings pur­su­ant to Artic­le 20 and adopt an imple­men­ting act refer­red to in Artic­le 8(2) in order to spe­ci­fy the mea­su­res that the gate­kee­per is to imple­ment.

8. Para­graph 6 of this Artic­le is wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the powers of the Com­mis­si­on under Artic­les 29, 30 and 31.


Artic­le 14 Obli­ga­ti­on to inform about concentrations


1. A gate­kee­per shall inform the Com­mis­si­on of any inten­ded con­cen­tra­ti­on within the mea­ning of Artic­le 3 of Regu­la­ti­on (EC) No 139/2004, whe­re the mer­ging enti­ties or the tar­get of con­cen­tra­ti­on pro­vi­de core plat­form ser­vices or any other ser­vices in the digi­tal sec­tor or enable the coll­ec­tion of data, irre­spec­ti­ve of whe­ther it is noti­fia­ble to the Com­mis­si­on under that Regu­la­ti­on or to a com­pe­tent natio­nal com­pe­ti­ti­on aut­ho­ri­ty under natio­nal mer­ger rules.

A gate­kee­per shall inform the Com­mis­si­on of such a con­cen­tra­ti­on pri­or to its imple­men­ta­ti­on and fol­lo­wing the con­clu­si­on of the agree­ment, the announce­ment of the public bid, or the acqui­si­ti­on of a con­trol­ling inte­rest.

2. The infor­ma­ti­on pro­vi­ded by the gate­kee­per pur­su­ant to para­graph 1 shall at least descri­be the under­ta­kings con­cer­ned by the con­cen­tra­ti­on, their Uni­on and world­wi­de annu­al tur­no­vers, their fields of acti­vi­ty, inclu­ding acti­vi­ties direct­ly rela­ted to the con­cen­tra­ti­on, and the tran­sac­tion value of the agree­ment or an esti­ma­ti­on the­reof, along with a sum­ma­ry of the con­cen­tra­ti­on, inclu­ding its natu­re and ratio­na­le and a list of the Mem­ber Sta­tes con­cer­ned by the con­cen­tra­ti­on.

The infor­ma­ti­on pro­vi­ded by the gate­kee­per shall also descri­be, for any rele­vant core plat­form ser­vices, their Uni­on annu­al tur­no­vers, their num­bers of year­ly acti­ve busi­ness users and their num­bers of month­ly acti­ve end users, respec­tively.

3. If, fol­lo­wing any con­cen­tra­ti­on refer­red to in para­graph 1 of this Artic­le, addi­tio­nal core plat­form ser­vices indi­vi­du­al­ly meet the thres­holds in Artic­le 3(2), point (b), the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned shall inform the Com­mis­si­on the­reof within 2 months from the imple­men­ta­ti­on of the con­cen­tra­ti­on and pro­vi­de the Com­mis­si­on with the infor­ma­ti­on refer­red to in Artic­le 3(2).

4. The Com­mis­si­on shall inform the com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties of the Mem­ber Sta­tes of any infor­ma­ti­on recei­ved pur­su­ant to para­graph 1 and publish annu­al­ly the list of acqui­si­ti­ons of which it has been infor­med by gate­kee­pers pur­su­ant to that para­graph.

The Com­mis­si­on shall take account of the legi­ti­ma­te inte­rest of under­ta­kings in the pro­tec­tion of their busi­ness secrets.

5. The com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties of the Mem­ber Sta­tes may use the infor­ma­ti­on recei­ved under para­graph 1 of this Artic­le to request the Com­mis­si­on to exami­ne the con­cen­tra­ti­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 22 of Regu­la­ti­on (EC) No 139/2004.


Artic­le 15 Obli­ga­ti­on of an audit


1. Within 6 months after its desi­gna­ti­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3, a gate­kee­per shall sub­mit to the Com­mis­si­on an inde­pendent­ly audi­ted descrip­ti­on of any tech­ni­ques for pro­fil­ing of con­su­mers that the gate­kee­per applies to or across its core plat­form ser­vices listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(9). The Com­mis­si­on shall trans­mit that audi­ted descrip­ti­on to the Euro­pean Data Pro­tec­tion Board.

2. The Com­mis­si­on may adopt an imple­men­ting act refer­red to in Artic­le 46(1), point (g), to deve­lop the metho­do­lo­gy and pro­ce­du­re of the audit.

3. The gate­kee­per shall make publicly available an over­view of the audi­ted descrip­ti­on refer­red to in para­graph 1. In doing so, the gate­kee­per shall be entit­led to take account of the need to respect its busi­ness secrets. The gate­kee­per shall update that descrip­ti­on and that over­view at least annually.

CHAPTER IV MARKET INVESTIGATION

Artic­le 16 Ope­ning of a mar­ket investigation


1. When the Com­mis­si­on intends to car­ry out a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on with a view to the pos­si­ble adop­ti­on of decis­i­ons pur­su­ant to Artic­les 17, 18 and 19 it shall adopt a decis­i­on ope­ning a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on.

2. Not­wi­th­stan­ding para­graph 1, the Com­mis­si­on may exer­cise its inve­sti­ga­ti­ve powers under this Regu­la­ti­on befo­re ope­ning a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on pur­su­ant to that para­graph.

3. The decis­i­on refer­red to in para­graph 1 shall spe­ci­fy:

(a) the date of ope­ning of the mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on;

(b) the descrip­ti­on of the issue to which the mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on rela­tes to;

(c) the pur­po­se of the mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on.

4. The Com­mis­si­on may reopen a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on that it has clo­sed whe­re:

(a) the­re has been a mate­ri­al chan­ge in any of the facts on which a decis­i­on adopted pur­su­ant to Artic­le 17, 18 or 19 was based; or

(b) the decis­i­on adopted pur­su­ant to Artic­le 17, 18 or 19 was based on incom­ple­te, incor­rect or mis­lea­ding infor­ma­ti­on.

5. The Com­mis­si­on may ask one or more natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties to assist it in its mar­ket investigation.


Artic­le 17 Mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on for desi­gna­ting gatekeepers


1. The Com­mis­si­on may con­duct a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on for the pur­po­se of exami­ning whe­ther an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices should be desi­gna­ted as a gate­kee­per pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(8), or in order to iden­ti­fy the core plat­form ser­vices to be listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(9). The Com­mis­si­on shall endea­vour to con­clude its mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on within 12 months from the date refer­red to in Artic­le 16(3), point (a), In order to con­clude its mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on shall adopt an imple­men­ting act set­ting out its decis­i­on. That imple­men­ting act shall be adopted in accordance with the advi­so­ry pro­ce­du­re refer­red to in Artic­le 50(2).

2. In the cour­se of a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on pur­su­ant to para­graph 1 of this Artic­le, the Com­mis­si­on shall endea­vour to com­mu­ni­ca­te its preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings to the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices con­cer­ned within 6 months from the date refer­red to in Artic­le 16(3), point (a). In the preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings, the Com­mis­si­on shall explain whe­ther it con­siders, on a pro­vi­sio­nal basis, that it is appro­pria­te for that under­ta­king to be desi­gna­ted as a gate­kee­per pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(8), and for the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vices to be listed pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(9).

3. Whe­re the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices satis­fies the thres­holds set out in Artic­le 3(2), but has pre­sen­ted suf­fi­ci­ent­ly sub­stan­tia­ted argu­ments in accordance with Artic­le 3(5) that have mani­fest­ly cal­led into que­sti­on the pre­sump­ti­on in Artic­le 3(2), the Com­mis­si­on shall endea­vour to con­clude the mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on within 5 months from the date refer­red to in Artic­le 16(3), point (a).

In such a case, the Com­mis­si­on shall endea­vour to com­mu­ni­ca­te its preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings pur­su­ant to para­graph 2 of this Artic­le to the under­ta­king con­cer­ned within 3 months from the date refer­red to in Artic­le 16(3), point (a).

4. When the Com­mis­si­on, pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(8), desi­gna­tes as a gate­kee­per an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices that does not yet enjoy an ent­ren­ched and dura­ble posi­ti­on in its ope­ra­ti­ons, but which will fore­see­ab­ly enjoy such a posi­ti­on in the near future, it may decla­re appli­ca­ble to that gate­kee­per only one or more of the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­le 5(3) to (6) and Artic­le 6(4), (7), (9), (10) and (13), as spe­ci­fi­ed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on. The Com­mis­si­on shall only decla­re appli­ca­ble tho­se obli­ga­ti­ons that are appro­pria­te and neces­sa­ry to pre­vent the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned from achie­ving, by unfair means, an ent­ren­ched and dura­ble posi­ti­on in its ope­ra­ti­ons. The Com­mis­si­on shall review such a desi­gna­ti­on in accordance with the pro­ce­du­re laid down in Artic­le 4.


Artic­le 18 Mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on into syste­ma­tic non-compliance


1. The Com­mis­si­on may con­duct a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on for the pur­po­se of exami­ning whe­ther a gate­kee­per has enga­ged in syste­ma­tic non-com­pli­ance. The Com­mis­si­on shall con­clude that mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on within 12 months from the date refer­red to in Artic­le 16(3), point (a). Whe­re the mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on shows that a gate­kee­per has syste­ma­ti­cal­ly inf­rin­ged one or more of the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­le 5, 6 or 7 and has main­tai­ned, streng­the­ned or exten­ded its gate­kee­per posi­ti­on in rela­ti­on to the requi­re­ments set out in Artic­le 3(1), the Com­mis­si­on may adopt an imple­men­ting act impo­sing on such gate­kee­per any beha­viou­ral or struc­tu­ral reme­dies which are pro­por­tio­na­te and neces­sa­ry to ensu­re effec­ti­ve com­pli­ance with this Regu­la­ti­on. That imple­men­ting act shall be adopted in accordance with the advi­so­ry pro­ce­du­re refer­red to in Artic­le 50(2).

2. The reme­dy impo­sed in accordance with para­graph 1 of this Artic­le may include, to the ext­ent that such reme­dy is pro­por­tio­na­te and neces­sa­ry in order to main­tain or resto­re fair­ness and con­test­a­bi­li­ty as affec­ted by the syste­ma­tic non-com­pli­ance, the pro­hi­bi­ti­on, during a limi­t­ed peri­od, for the gate­kee­per to enter into a con­cen­tra­ti­on within the mea­ning of Artic­le 3 of Regu­la­ti­on (EC) No 139/2004 regar­ding the core plat­form ser­vices or the other ser­vices pro­vi­ded in the digi­tal sec­tor or enab­ling the coll­ec­tion of data that are affec­ted by the syste­ma­tic non-com­pli­ance.

3. A gate­kee­per shall be dee­med to have enga­ged in syste­ma­tic non-com­pli­ance with the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­les 5, 6 and 7, whe­re the Com­mis­si­on has issued at least three non-com­pli­ance decis­i­ons pur­su­ant to Artic­le 29 against a gate­kee­per in rela­ti­on to any of its core plat­form ser­vices within a peri­od of 8 years pri­or to the adop­ti­on of the decis­i­on ope­ning a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on in view of the pos­si­ble adop­ti­on of a decis­i­on pur­su­ant to this Artic­le.

4. The Com­mis­si­on shall com­mu­ni­ca­te its preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings to the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned within 6 months from the date refer­red to in Artic­le 16(3), point (a). In its preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings, the Com­mis­si­on shall explain whe­ther it preli­mi­na­ri­ly con­siders that the con­di­ti­ons of para­graph 1 of this Artic­le are met and which reme­dy or reme­dies it preli­mi­na­ri­ly con­siders neces­sa­ry and pro­por­tio­na­te.

5. In order to enable inte­re­sted third par­ties to effec­tively pro­vi­de comm­ents, the Com­mis­si­on shall, at the same time as com­mu­ni­ca­ting its preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings to the gate­kee­per pur­su­ant to para­graph 4 or as soon as pos­si­ble the­re­af­ter, publish a non-con­fi­den­ti­al sum­ma­ry of the case and the reme­dies that it is con­side­ring impo­sing. The Com­mis­si­on shall spe­ci­fy a rea­sonable time­frame within which such comm­ents are to be pro­vi­ded.

6. Whe­re the Com­mis­si­on intends to adopt a decis­i­on pur­su­ant to para­graph 1 of this Artic­le by making com­mit­ments offe­red by the gate­kee­per pur­su­ant to Artic­le 25 bin­ding, it shall publish a non-con­fi­den­ti­al sum­ma­ry of the case and the main con­tent of the com­mit­ments. Inte­re­sted third par­ties may sub­mit their comm­ents within a rea­sonable time­frame which shall be set by the Com­mis­si­on.

7. In the cour­se of the mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on may extend its dura­ti­on whe­re such exten­si­on is justi­fi­ed on objec­ti­ve grounds and pro­por­tio­na­te. The exten­si­on may app­ly to the dead­line by which the Com­mis­si­on has to issue its preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings, or to the dead­line for adop­ti­on of the final decis­i­on. The total dura­ti­on of any exten­si­on or exten­si­ons pur­su­ant to this para­graph shall not exce­ed 6 months.

8. In order to ensu­re effec­ti­ve com­pli­ance by the gate­kee­per with its obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­les 5, 6 and 7, the Com­mis­si­on shall regu­lar­ly review the reme­dies that it impo­ses in accordance with para­graphs 1 and 2 of this Artic­le. The Com­mis­si­on shall be entit­led to modi­fy tho­se reme­dies if, fol­lo­wing a new mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on, it finds that they are not effective.


Artic­le 19 Mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on into new ser­vices and new practices


1. The Com­mis­si­on may con­duct a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on for the pur­po­se of exami­ning whe­ther one or more ser­vices within the digi­tal sec­tor should be added to the list of core plat­form ser­vices laid down in Artic­le 2, point (2) or for the pur­po­se of detec­ting prac­ti­ces that limit the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of core plat­form ser­vices or that are unfair and which are not effec­tively addres­sed by this Regu­la­ti­on. In its assess­ment, the Com­mis­si­on shall take into account any rele­vant fin­dings of pro­ce­e­dings under Artic­les 101 and 102 TFEU con­cer­ning digi­tal mar­kets as well as any other rele­vant deve­lo­p­ments.

2. The Com­mis­si­on may, when con­duc­ting a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on pur­su­ant to para­graph 1, con­sult third par­ties, inclu­ding busi­ness users and end users of ser­vices within the digi­tal sec­tor that are being inve­sti­ga­ted and busi­ness users and end users who are sub­ject to prac­ti­ces under inve­sti­ga­ti­on.

3. The Com­mis­si­on shall publish its fin­dings in a report within 18 months from the date refer­red to in Artic­le 16(3), point (a).

That report shall be sub­mit­ted to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and to the Coun­cil and, whe­re appro­pria­te, shall be accom­pa­nied by:

(a) a legis­la­ti­ve pro­po­sal to amend this Regu­la­ti­on in order to include addi­tio­nal ser­vices within the digi­tal sec­tor in the list of core plat­form ser­vices laid down in Artic­le 2, point (2), or to include new obli­ga­ti­ons in Chap­ter III; or

(b) a draft dele­ga­ted act sup­ple­men­ting this Regu­la­ti­on with regard to the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­les 5 and 6, or a draft dele­ga­ted act amen­ding or sup­ple­men­ting this Regu­la­ti­on with regard to the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­le 7, as pro­vi­ded for in Artic­le 12.

Whe­re appro­pria­te, the legis­la­ti­ve pro­po­sal to amend this Regu­la­ti­on under point (a) of the second sub­pa­ra­graph may also pro­po­se to remo­ve exi­sting ser­vices from the list of core plat­form ser­vices laid down in Artic­le 2, point (2), or to remo­ve exi­sting obli­ga­ti­ons from Artic­le 5, 6 or 7.

CHAPTER V INVESTIGATIVE, ENFORCEMENT AND MONITORING POWERS

Artic­le 20 Ope­ning of proceedings


1. Whe­re the Com­mis­si­on intends to open pro­ce­e­dings with a view to the pos­si­ble adop­ti­on of decis­i­ons pur­su­ant to Artic­les 8, 29 and 30, it shall adopt a decis­i­on ope­ning a pro­ce­e­ding.

2. Not­wi­th­stan­ding para­graph 1, the Com­mis­si­on may exer­cise its inve­sti­ga­ti­ve powers under this Regu­la­ti­on befo­re ope­ning pro­ce­e­dings pur­su­ant to that paragraph.


Artic­le 21 Requests for information


1. In order to car­ry out its duties under this Regu­la­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on may, by simp­le request or by decis­i­on, requi­re from under­ta­kings and asso­cia­ti­ons of under­ta­kings to pro­vi­de all neces­sa­ry infor­ma­ti­on. The Com­mis­si­on may also, by simp­le request or by decis­i­on, requi­re access to any data and algo­rith­ms of under­ta­kings and infor­ma­ti­on about test­ing, as well as reque­st­ing expl­ana­ti­ons of them.

2. When sen­ding a simp­le request for infor­ma­ti­on to an under­ta­king or asso­cia­ti­on of under­ta­kings, the Com­mis­si­on shall sta­te the legal basis and pur­po­se of the request, spe­ci­fy what infor­ma­ti­on is requi­red and fix the time limit within which the infor­ma­ti­on is to be pro­vi­ded, as well as the fines pro­vi­ded for in Artic­le 30 appli­ca­ble for sup­p­ly­ing incom­ple­te, incor­rect or mis­lea­ding infor­ma­ti­on or expl­ana­ti­ons.

3. Whe­re the Com­mis­si­on requi­res under­ta­kings and asso­cia­ti­ons of under­ta­kings to sup­p­ly infor­ma­ti­on by decis­i­on, it shall sta­te the legal basis and pur­po­se of the request, spe­ci­fy what infor­ma­ti­on is requi­red and fix the time limit within which the infor­ma­ti­on is to be pro­vi­ded. Whe­re the Com­mis­si­on requi­res under­ta­kings to pro­vi­de access to any data, algo­rith­ms and infor­ma­ti­on about test­ing, it shall sta­te the pur­po­se of the request and fix the time ‑limit within which it is to be pro­vi­ded. It shall also indi­ca­te the fines pro­vi­ded for in Artic­le 30 and indi­ca­te or impo­se the peri­odic penal­ty payments pro­vi­ded for in Artic­le 31. It shall fur­ther indi­ca­te the right to have the decis­i­on review­ed by the Court of Justi­ce.

4. The under­ta­kings or asso­cia­ti­ons of under­ta­kings or their repre­sen­ta­ti­ves shall sup­p­ly the infor­ma­ti­on reque­sted on behalf of the under­ta­king or the asso­cia­ti­on of under­ta­kings con­cer­ned. Lawy­ers duly aut­ho­ri­sed to act may sup­p­ly the infor­ma­ti­on on behalf of their cli­ents. The lat­ter shall remain ful­ly respon­si­ble if the infor­ma­ti­on sup­plied is incom­ple­te, incor­rect or mis­lea­ding.

5. At the request of the Com­mis­si­on, the com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties of the Mem­ber Sta­tes shall pro­vi­de the Com­mis­si­on with all neces­sa­ry infor­ma­ti­on in their pos­ses­si­on to car­ry out the duties assi­gned to it by this Regulation.


Artic­le 22 Power to car­ry out inter­views and take statements


1. In order to car­ry out its duties under this Regu­la­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on may inter­view any natu­ral or legal per­son which cons­ents to being inter­view­ed, for the pur­po­se of coll­ec­ting infor­ma­ti­on, rela­ting to the sub­ject-mat­ter of an inve­sti­ga­ti­on. The Com­mis­si­on shall be entit­led to record such inter­views by any tech­ni­cal means.

2. Whe­re an inter­view pur­su­ant to para­graph 1 of this Artic­le is con­duc­ted on the pre­mi­ses of an under­ta­king, the Com­mis­si­on shall inform the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty of the Mem­ber Sta­te that is enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6) and in who­se ter­ri­to­ry the inter­view takes place the­reof. If that aut­ho­ri­ty so requests, its offi­ci­als may assist the offi­ci­als and other accom­pany­ing per­sons aut­ho­ri­sed by the Com­mis­si­on to con­duct the interview.


Artic­le 23 Powers to con­duct inspections


1. In order to car­ry out its duties under this Regu­la­ti­on, the Com­mis­si­on may con­duct all neces­sa­ry inspec­tions of an under­ta­king or asso­cia­ti­on of under­ta­kings.

2. The offi­ci­als and other accom­pany­ing per­sons aut­ho­ri­sed by the Com­mis­si­on to con­duct an inspec­tion are empowered to:

(a) enter any pre­mi­ses, land and means of trans­port of under­ta­kings and asso­cia­ti­ons of under­ta­kings;

(b) exami­ne the books and other records rela­ted to the busi­ness, irre­spec­ti­ve of the medi­um on which they are stored;

(c) take or obtain in any form copies of or extra­cts from such books or records;

(d) requi­re the under­ta­king or asso­cia­ti­on of under­ta­kings to pro­vi­de access to and expl­ana­ti­ons on its orga­ni­sa­ti­on, func­tio­ning, IT system, algo­rith­ms, data-hand­ling and busi­ness prac­ti­ces and to record or docu­ment the expl­ana­ti­ons given by any tech­ni­cal means;

(e) seal any busi­ness pre­mi­ses and books or records for the dura­ti­on of, and to the ext­ent neces­sa­ry for, the inspec­tion;

(f) ask any repre­sen­ta­ti­ve or mem­ber of staff of the under­ta­king or asso­cia­ti­on of under­ta­kings for expl­ana­ti­ons of facts or docu­ments rela­ting to the sub­ject-mat­ter and pur­po­se of the inspec­tion, and to record the ans­wers by any tech­ni­cal means.

3. To car­ry out inspec­tions, the Com­mis­si­on may request the assi­stance of audi­tors or experts appoin­ted by the Com­mis­si­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 26(2), as well as the assi­stance of the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty of the Mem­ber Sta­te, enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6) in who­se ter­ri­to­ry the inspec­tion is to be con­duc­ted.

4. During inspec­tions the Com­mis­si­on, audi­tors or experts appoin­ted by it and the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty of the Mem­ber Sta­te, enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6) in who­se ter­ri­to­ry the inspec­tion is to be con­duc­ted may requi­re the under­ta­king or asso­cia­ti­on of under­ta­kings to pro­vi­de access to and expl­ana­ti­ons on its orga­ni­sa­ti­on, func­tio­ning, IT system, algo­rith­ms, data-hand­ling and busi­ness con­ducts. The Com­mis­si­on and audi­tors or experts appoin­ted by it and the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty of the Mem­ber Sta­te, enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6) in who­se ter­ri­to­ry the inspec­tion is to be con­duc­ted may address que­sti­ons to any repre­sen­ta­ti­ve or mem­ber of staff.

5. The offi­ci­als and other accom­pany­ing per­sons aut­ho­ri­sed by the Com­mis­si­on to con­duct an inspec­tion shall exer­cise their powers upon pro­duc­tion of a writ­ten aut­ho­ri­sa­ti­on spe­ci­fy­ing the sub­ject mat­ter and pur­po­se of the inspec­tion and the fines pro­vi­ded for in Artic­le 30 appli­ca­ble in the event that the pro­duc­tion of the requi­red books or other records rela­ted to the busi­ness is incom­ple­te or whe­re the ans­wers to que­sti­ons asked under para­graphs 2 and 4 of this Artic­le are incor­rect or mis­lea­ding. In good time befo­re the inspec­tion, the Com­mis­si­on shall give noti­ce of the inspec­tion to the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty of the Mem­ber Sta­te enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6) in who­se ter­ri­to­ry it is to be con­duc­ted.

6. Under­ta­kings or asso­cia­ti­ons of under­ta­kings are requi­red to sub­mit to an inspec­tion orde­red by a Com­mis­si­on decis­i­on. That decis­i­on shall spe­ci­fy the sub­ject mat­ter and pur­po­se of the inspec­tion, set the date on which it is to begin and indi­ca­te the fines and peri­odic penal­ty payments pro­vi­ded for in Artic­les 30 and 31 respec­tively, and the right to have that decis­i­on review­ed by the Court of Justi­ce.

7. Offi­ci­als of, and the per­sons aut­ho­ri­sed or appoin­ted by, the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty of the Mem­ber Sta­te enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6) in who­se ter­ri­to­ry the inspec­tion is to be con­duc­ted shall, at the request of that aut­ho­ri­ty or of the Com­mis­si­on, actively assist the offi­ci­als and other accom­pany­ing per­sons aut­ho­ri­sed by the Com­mis­si­on. To this end, they shall enjoy the powers set out in para­graphs 2 and 4 of this Artic­le.

8. Whe­re the offi­ci­als and other accom­pany­ing per­sons aut­ho­ri­sed by the Com­mis­si­on find that an under­ta­king or asso­cia­ti­on of under­ta­kings oppo­ses an inspec­tion orde­red pur­su­ant to this Artic­le, the Mem­ber Sta­te con­cer­ned shall afford them the neces­sa­ry assi­stance, reque­st­ing, whe­re appro­pria­te, the assi­stance of the poli­ce or of an equi­va­lent enforce­ment aut­ho­ri­ty, so as to enable them to con­duct their inspec­tion.

9. If, accor­ding to natio­nal rules, the assi­stance pro­vi­ded for in para­graph 8 of this Artic­le requi­res aut­ho­ri­sa­ti­on from a judi­cial aut­ho­ri­ty, the Com­mis­si­on or the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty of the Mem­ber Sta­te enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6) or offi­ci­als aut­ho­ri­sed by tho­se aut­ho­ri­ties shall app­ly for it. Such aut­ho­ri­sa­ti­on may also be applied for as a pre­cau­tio­na­ry mea­su­re.

10. Whe­re aut­ho­ri­sa­ti­on refer­red to in para­graph 9 of this Artic­le is applied for, the natio­nal judi­cial aut­ho­ri­ty shall veri­fy that the Com­mis­si­on decis­i­on is authen­tic and that the coer­ci­ve mea­su­res envi­sa­ged are neither arbi­tra­ry nor exce­s­si­ve having regard to the sub­ject mat­ter of the inspec­tion. In its con­trol of the pro­por­tio­na­li­ty of the coer­ci­ve mea­su­res, the natio­nal judi­cial aut­ho­ri­ty may ask the Com­mis­si­on, direct­ly or through the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty of the Mem­ber Sta­te, enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6), for detail­ed expl­ana­ti­ons in par­ti­cu­lar on the grounds the Com­mis­si­on has for suspec­ting inf­rin­ge­ment of this Regu­la­ti­on, as well as on the serious­ness of the suspec­ted inf­rin­ge­ment and on the natu­re of the invol­vement of the under­ta­king con­cer­ned. Howe­ver, the natio­nal judi­cial aut­ho­ri­ty may not call into que­sti­on the neces­si­ty of the inspec­tion nor demand that it be pro­vi­ded with the infor­ma­ti­on in the file of the Com­mis­si­on. The lawful­ness of the Com­mis­si­on decis­i­on shall be sub­ject to review only by the Court of Justice.


Artic­le 24 Inte­rim measures


In case of urgen­cy due to the risk of serious and irrepa­ra­ble dama­ge for busi­ness users or end users of gate­kee­pers, the Com­mis­si­on may adopt an imple­men­ting act orde­ring inte­rim mea­su­res against a gate­kee­per on the basis of a pri­ma facie fin­ding of an inf­rin­ge­ment of Artic­le 5, 6 or 7. That imple­men­ting act shall be adopted only in the con­text of pro­ce­e­dings ope­ned with a view to the pos­si­ble adop­ti­on of a non-com­pli­ance decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 29(1). It shall app­ly only for a spe­ci­fi­ed peri­od of time and may be rene­wed in so far this is neces­sa­ry and appro­pria­te. That imple­men­ting act shall be adopted in accordance with the advi­so­ry pro­ce­du­re refer­red to in Artic­le 50(2).


Artic­le 25 Commitments


1. If, during pro­ce­e­dings under Artic­le 18, the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned offers com­mit­ments for the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vices to ensu­re com­pli­ance with the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­les 5, 6 and 7 the Com­mis­si­on may adopt an imple­men­ting act making tho­se com­mit­ments bin­ding on that gate­kee­per and decla­re that the­re are no fur­ther grounds for action. That imple­men­ting act shall be adopted in accordance with the advi­so­ry pro­ce­du­re refer­red to in Artic­le 50(2).

2. The Com­mis­si­on may, upon request or on its own initia­ti­ve, reopen by decis­i­on the rele­vant pro­ce­e­dings, whe­re:

(a) the­re has been a mate­ri­al chan­ge in any of the facts on which the decis­i­on was based;

(b) the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned acts con­tra­ry to its com­mit­ments;

(c) the decis­i­on was based on incom­ple­te, incor­rect or mis­lea­ding infor­ma­ti­on pro­vi­ded by the par­ties;

(d) the com­mit­ments are not effec­ti­ve.

3. If the Com­mis­si­on con­siders that the com­mit­ments sub­mit­ted by the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned can­not ensu­re effec­ti­ve com­pli­ance with the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­les 5, 6 and 7, it shall explain the rea­sons for not making tho­se com­mit­ments bin­ding in the decis­i­on con­clu­ding the rele­vant proceedings.


Artic­le 26 Moni­to­ring of obli­ga­ti­ons and measures


1. The Com­mis­si­on shall take the neces­sa­ry actions to moni­tor the effec­ti­ve imple­men­ta­ti­on and com­pli­ance with the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­les 5, 6 and 7 and the decis­i­ons taken pur­su­ant to Artic­les 8, 18, 24, 25 and 29. Tho­se actions may include, in par­ti­cu­lar, the impo­si­ti­on of an obli­ga­ti­on on the gate­kee­per to retain all docu­ments dee­med to be rele­vant to assess the imple­men­ta­ti­on of, and com­pli­ance with, tho­se obli­ga­ti­ons and decis­i­ons.

2. The actions pur­su­ant to para­graph 1 may include the appoint­ment of inde­pen­dent exter­nal experts and audi­tors, as well as the appoint­ment of offi­ci­als from natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties of the Mem­ber Sta­tes, to assist the Com­mis­si­on to moni­tor the obli­ga­ti­ons and mea­su­res and to pro­vi­de spe­ci­fic exper­ti­se or know­ledge to the Commission.


Artic­le 27 Infor­ma­ti­on by third parties


1. Any third par­ty, inclu­ding busi­ness users, com­pe­ti­tors or end-users of the core plat­form ser­vices listed in the desi­gna­ti­on decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(9), as well as their repre­sen­ta­ti­ves, may inform the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty of the Mem­ber Sta­te, enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6), or the Com­mis­si­on direct­ly, about any prac­ti­ce or beha­viour by gate­kee­pers that falls within the scope of this Regu­la­ti­on.

2. The natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty of the Mem­ber Sta­te, enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6), and the Com­mis­si­on shall have full dis­creti­on as regards the appro­pria­te mea­su­res and are under no obli­ga­ti­on to fol­low-up on the infor­ma­ti­on recei­ved.

3. Whe­re the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty of the Mem­ber Sta­te, enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6), deter­mi­nes, based on the infor­ma­ti­on recei­ved pur­su­ant to para­graph 1 of this Artic­le, that the­re may be an issue of non-com­pli­ance with this Regu­la­ti­on, it shall trans­fer that infor­ma­ti­on to the Commission.


Artic­le 28 Com­pli­ance function


1. Gate­kee­pers shall intro­du­ce a com­pli­ance func­tion, which is inde­pen­dent from the ope­ra­tio­nal func­tions of the gate­kee­per and com­po­sed of one or more com­pli­ance offi­cers, inclu­ding the head of the com­pli­ance func­tion.

2. The gate­kee­per shall ensu­re that the com­pli­ance func­tion refer­red to in para­graph 1 has suf­fi­ci­ent aut­ho­ri­ty, sta­tu­re and resour­ces, as well as access to the manage­ment body of the gate­kee­per to moni­tor the com­pli­ance of the gate­kee­per with this Regu­la­ti­on.

3. The manage­ment body of the gate­kee­per shall ensu­re that com­pli­ance offi­cers appoin­ted pur­su­ant to para­graph 1 have the pro­fes­sio­nal qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons, know­ledge, expe­ri­ence and abili­ty neces­sa­ry to ful­fil the tasks refer­red to in para­graph 5.

The manage­ment body of the gate­kee­per shall also ensu­re that such head of the com­pli­ance func­tion is an inde­pen­dent seni­or mana­ger with distinct respon­si­bi­li­ty for the com­pli­ance func­tion.

4. The head of the com­pli­ance func­tion shall report direct­ly to the manage­ment body of the gate­kee­per and may rai­se con­cerns and warn that body whe­re risks of non-com­pli­ance with this Regu­la­ti­on ari­se, wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the respon­si­bi­li­ties of the manage­ment body in its super­vi­so­ry and mana­ge­ri­al func­tions.

The head of the com­pli­ance func­tion shall not be remo­ved wit­hout pri­or appr­oval of the manage­ment body of the gate­kee­per.

5. Com­pli­ance offi­cers appoin­ted by the gate­kee­per pur­su­ant to para­graph 1 shall have the fol­lo­wing tasks:

(a) orga­ni­s­ing, moni­to­ring and super­vi­sing the mea­su­res and acti­vi­ties of the gate­kee­pers that aim to ensu­re com­pli­ance with this Regu­la­ti­on;

(b) informing and advi­sing the manage­ment and employees of the gate­kee­per on com­pli­ance with this Regu­la­ti­on;

(c) whe­re appli­ca­ble, moni­to­ring com­pli­ance with com­mit­ments made bin­ding pur­su­ant to Artic­le 25, wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the Com­mis­si­on being able to appoint inde­pen­dent exter­nal experts pur­su­ant to Artic­le 26(2);

(d) coope­ra­ting with the Com­mis­si­on for the pur­po­se of this Regu­la­ti­on.

6. Gate­kee­pers shall com­mu­ni­ca­te the name and cont­act details of the head of the com­pli­ance func­tion to the Com­mis­si­on.

7. The manage­ment body of the gate­kee­per shall defi­ne, over­see and be accoun­ta­ble for the imple­men­ta­ti­on of the gover­nan­ce arran­ge­ments of the gate­kee­per that ensu­re the inde­pen­dence of the com­pli­ance func­tion, inclu­ding the divi­si­on of respon­si­bi­li­ties in the orga­ni­sa­ti­on of the gate­kee­per and the pre­ven­ti­on of con­flicts of inte­rest.

8. The manage­ment body shall appro­ve and review peri­odi­cal­ly, at least once a year, the stra­te­gies and poli­ci­es for taking up, mana­ging and moni­to­ring the com­pli­ance with this Regu­la­ti­on.

9. The manage­ment body shall devo­te suf­fi­ci­ent time to the manage­ment and moni­to­ring of com­pli­ance with this Regu­la­ti­on. It shall actively par­ti­ci­pa­te in decis­i­ons rela­ting to the manage­ment and enforce­ment of this Regu­la­ti­on and ensu­re that ade­qua­te resour­ces are allo­ca­ted to it.


Artic­le 29 Non-compliance


1. The Com­mis­si­on shall adopt an imple­men­ting act set­ting out its fin­ding of non-com­pli­ance (‘the non-com­pli­ance decis­i­on’) whe­re it finds that a gate­kee­per does not com­ply with one or more of the fol­lo­wing:

(a) any of the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­le 5, 6 or 7;

(b) mea­su­res spe­ci­fi­ed by the Com­mis­si­on in a decis­i­on adopted pur­su­ant to Artic­le 8(2);

(c) reme­dies impo­sed pur­su­ant to Artic­le 18(1);

(d) inte­rim mea­su­res orde­red pur­su­ant to Artic­le 24; or

(e) com­mit­ments made legal­ly bin­ding pur­su­ant to Artic­le 25.

That imple­men­ting act shall be adopted in accordance with the advi­so­ry pro­ce­du­re refer­red to in Artic­le 50(2).

2. The Com­mis­si­on shall endea­vour to adopt its non-com­pli­ance decis­i­on within 12 months from the ope­ning of pro­ce­e­dings pur­su­ant to Artic­le 20.

3. Befo­re adop­ting the non-com­pli­ance decis­i­on, the Com­mis­si­on shall com­mu­ni­ca­te its preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings to the gate­kee­per con­cer­ned. In tho­se preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings, the Com­mis­si­on shall explain the mea­su­res it is con­side­ring taking or that it con­siders that the gate­kee­per should take in order to effec­tively address the preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings.

4. Whe­re it intends to adopt a non-com­pli­ance decis­i­on, the Com­mis­si­on may con­sult third par­ties.

5. In the non-com­pli­ance decis­i­on, the Com­mis­si­on shall order the gate­kee­per to cea­se and desist with the non-com­pli­ance within an appro­pria­te dead­line and to pro­vi­de expl­ana­ti­ons on how it plans to com­ply with that decis­i­on.

6. The gate­kee­per shall pro­vi­de the Com­mis­si­on with the descrip­ti­on of the mea­su­res that it has taken to ensu­re com­pli­ance with the non-com­pli­ance decis­i­on.

7. Whe­re the Com­mis­si­on deci­des not to adopt a non-com­pli­ance decis­i­on, it shall clo­se the pro­ce­e­dings by a decision.


Artic­le 30 Fines


1. In the non-com­pli­ance decis­i­on, the Com­mis­si­on may impo­se on a gate­kee­per fines not exce­e­ding 10 % of its total world­wi­de tur­no­ver in the pre­ce­ding finan­cial year whe­re it finds that the gate­kee­per, inten­tio­nal­ly or negli­gent­ly, fails to com­ply with:

(a) any of the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­les 5, 6 and 7;

(b) mea­su­res spe­ci­fi­ed by the Com­mis­si­on in a decis­i­on adopted pur­su­ant to Artic­le 8(2);

(c) reme­dies impo­sed pur­su­ant to Artic­le 18(1);

(d) inte­rim mea­su­res orde­red pur­su­ant to Artic­le 24; or

(e) com­mit­ments made legal­ly bin­ding pur­su­ant to Artic­le 25.

2. Not­wi­th­stan­ding para­graph 1 of this Artic­le, in the non-com­pli­ance decis­i­on the Com­mis­si­on may impo­se on a gate­kee­per fines up to 20 % of its total world­wi­de tur­no­ver in the pre­ce­ding finan­cial year whe­re it finds that a gate­kee­per has com­mit­ted the same or a simi­lar inf­rin­ge­ment of an obli­ga­ti­on laid down in Artic­le 5, 6 or 7 in rela­ti­on to the same core plat­form ser­vice as it was found to have com­mit­ted in a non-com­pli­ance decis­i­on adopted in the 8 pre­ce­ding years.

3. The Com­mis­si­on may adopt a decis­i­on, impo­sing on under­ta­kings, inclu­ding gate­kee­pers whe­re appli­ca­ble, and asso­cia­ti­ons of under­ta­kings, fines not exce­e­ding 1 % of their total world­wi­de tur­no­ver in the pre­ce­ding finan­cial year whe­re they inten­tio­nal­ly or negli­gent­ly:

(a) fail to pro­vi­de within the time limit infor­ma­ti­on that is requi­red for asses­sing their desi­gna­ti­on as gate­kee­pers pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3 or sup­p­ly incor­rect, incom­ple­te or mis­lea­ding infor­ma­ti­on;

(b) fail to com­ply with the obli­ga­ti­on to noti­fy the Com­mis­si­on accor­ding to Artic­le 3(3);

(c) fail to noti­fy infor­ma­ti­on or sup­p­ly incor­rect, incom­ple­te or mis­lea­ding infor­ma­ti­on that is requi­red pur­su­ant to Artic­le 14;

(d) fail to sub­mit the descrip­ti­on or sup­p­ly incor­rect, incom­ple­te or mis­lea­ding infor­ma­ti­on that is requi­red pur­su­ant to Artic­le 15;

(e) fail to pro­vi­de access to data, algo­rith­ms or infor­ma­ti­on about test­ing in respon­se to a request made pur­su­ant to Artic­le 21(3);

(f) fail to sup­p­ly the infor­ma­ti­on reque­sted within the time limit fixed pur­su­ant to Artic­le 21(3) or sup­p­ly incor­rect, incom­ple­te or mis­lea­ding infor­ma­ti­on or expl­ana­ti­ons that are reque­sted pur­su­ant to Artic­le 21 or given in an inter­view pur­su­ant to Artic­le 22;

(g) fail to rec­ti­fy within a time limit set by the Com­mis­si­on, incor­rect, incom­ple­te or mis­lea­ding infor­ma­ti­on given by a repre­sen­ta­ti­ve or a mem­ber of staff, or fail or refu­se to pro­vi­de com­ple­te infor­ma­ti­on on facts rela­ting to the sub­ject-mat­ter and pur­po­se of an inspec­tion, pur­su­ant to Artic­le 23;

(h) refu­se to sub­mit to an inspec­tion pur­su­ant to Artic­le 23;

(i) fail to com­ply with the obli­ga­ti­ons impo­sed by the Com­mis­si­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 26;

(j) fail to intro­du­ce a com­pli­ance func­tion in accordance with Artic­le 28; or

(k) fail to com­ply with the con­di­ti­ons for access to the Commission’s file pur­su­ant to Artic­le 34(4).

4. In fixing the amount of a fine, the Com­mis­si­on shall take into account the gra­vi­ty, dura­ti­on, recur­rence, and, for fines impo­sed pur­su­ant to para­graph 3, delay cau­sed to the pro­ce­e­dings.

5. When a fine is impo­sed on an asso­cia­ti­on of under­ta­kings taking account of the world­wi­de tur­no­ver of its mem­bers and that asso­cia­ti­on is not sol­vent, it shall be obli­ged to call for con­tri­bu­ti­ons from its mem­bers to cover the amount of the fine.

Whe­re such con­tri­bu­ti­ons have not been made to the asso­cia­ti­on of under­ta­kings within a time limit set by the Com­mis­si­on, the Com­mis­si­on may requi­re payment of the fine direct­ly by any of the under­ta­kings who­se repre­sen­ta­ti­ves were mem­bers of the decis­i­on-making bodies con­cer­ned of that asso­cia­ti­on.

After having requi­red payment in accordance with the second sub­pa­ra­graph, the Com­mis­si­on may requi­re payment of the balan­ce by any of the mem­bers of the asso­cia­ti­on of under­ta­kings, whe­re neces­sa­ry to ensu­re full payment of the fine.

Howe­ver, the Com­mis­si­on shall not requi­re payment pur­su­ant to the second or the third sub­pa­ra­graph from under­ta­kings which show that they have not imple­men­ted the decis­i­on of the asso­cia­ti­on of under­ta­kings that inf­rin­ged this Regu­la­ti­on, and eit­her were not awa­re of its exi­stence, or have actively distanced them­sel­ves from it befo­re the Com­mis­si­on ope­ned pro­ce­e­dings under Artic­le 20.

The finan­cial lia­bi­li­ty of each under­ta­king in respect of the payment of the fine shall not exce­ed 20 % of its total world­wi­de tur­no­ver in the pre­ce­ding finan­cial year.


Artic­le 31 Peri­odic penal­ty payments


1. The Com­mis­si­on may adopt a decis­i­on impo­sing on under­ta­kings, inclu­ding gate­kee­pers whe­re appli­ca­ble, and asso­cia­ti­ons of under­ta­kings peri­odic penal­ty payments not exce­e­ding 5 % of the avera­ge dai­ly world­wi­de tur­no­ver in the pre­ce­ding finan­cial year per day, cal­cu­la­ted from the date set by that decis­i­on, in order to com­pel them:

(a) to com­ply with the mea­su­res spe­ci­fi­ed by the Com­mis­si­on in a decis­i­on adopted pur­su­ant to Artic­le 8(2);

(b) to com­ply with the decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 18(1);

(c) to sup­p­ly cor­rect and com­ple­te infor­ma­ti­on within the time limit requi­red by a request for infor­ma­ti­on made by decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 21;

(d) to ensu­re access to data, algo­rith­ms and infor­ma­ti­on about test­ing in respon­se to a request made pur­su­ant to Artic­le 21(3) and to sup­p­ly expl­ana­ti­ons on tho­se as requi­red by a decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 21;

(e) to sub­mit to an inspec­tion which was orde­red by a decis­i­on taken pur­su­ant to Artic­le 23;

(f) to com­ply with a decis­i­on orde­ring inte­rim mea­su­res taken pur­su­ant to Artic­le 24;

(g) to com­ply with com­mit­ments made legal­ly bin­ding by a decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 25(1);

(h) to com­ply with a decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 29(1).

2. Whe­re the under­ta­kings, or asso­cia­ti­ons of under­ta­kings, have satis­fied the obli­ga­ti­on which the peri­odic penal­ty payment was inten­ded to enforce, the Com­mis­si­on may adopt an imple­men­ting act, set­ting the defi­ni­ti­ve amount of the peri­odic penal­ty payment at a figu­re lower than that which would ari­se under the ori­gi­nal decis­i­on. That imple­men­ting act shall be adopted in accordance with the advi­so­ry pro­ce­du­re refer­red to in Artic­le 50(2).


Artic­le 32 Limi­ta­ti­on peri­ods for the impo­si­ti­on of penalties


1. The powers con­fer­red on the Com­mis­si­on by Artic­les 30 and 31 shall be sub­ject to a 5 year limi­ta­ti­on peri­od.

2. Time shall begin to run on the day on which the inf­rin­ge­ment is com­mit­ted. Howe­ver, in the case of con­ti­nuing or repea­ted inf­rin­ge­ments, time shall begin to run on the day on which the inf­rin­ge­ment cea­ses.

3. Any action taken by the Com­mis­si­on for the pur­po­se of a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on or pro­ce­e­dings in respect of an inf­rin­ge­ment shall inter­rupt the limi­ta­ti­on peri­od for the impo­si­ti­on of fines or peri­odic penal­ty payments. The limi­ta­ti­on peri­od shall be inter­rupt­ed with effect from the date on which the action is noti­fi­ed to at least one under­ta­king or asso­cia­ti­on of under­ta­kings which has par­ti­ci­pa­ted in the inf­rin­ge­ment. Actions which inter­rupt the run­ning of the peri­od shall include in par­ti­cu­lar the fol­lo­wing:

(a) requests for infor­ma­ti­on by the Com­mis­si­on;

(b) writ­ten aut­ho­ri­sa­ti­ons to con­duct inspec­tions issued to its offi­ci­als by the Com­mis­si­on;

(c) the ope­ning of a pro­ce­e­ding by the Com­mis­si­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 20.

4. Each inter­rup­ti­on shall start time run­ning afresh. Howe­ver, the limi­ta­ti­on peri­od shall expi­re at the latest on the day on which a peri­od equal to twice the limi­ta­ti­on peri­od has elap­sed wit­hout the Com­mis­si­on having impo­sed a fine or a peri­odic penal­ty payment. That peri­od shall be exten­ded by the time during which limi­ta­ti­on is sus­pen­ded pur­su­ant to para­graph 5.

5. The limi­ta­ti­on peri­od for the impo­si­ti­on of fines or peri­odic penal­ty payments shall be sus­pen­ded for as long as the decis­i­on of the Com­mis­si­on is the sub­ject of pro­ce­e­dings pen­ding befo­re the Court of Justice.


Artic­le 33 Limi­ta­ti­on peri­ods for the enforce­ment of penalties


1. The power of the Com­mis­si­on to enforce decis­i­ons taken pur­su­ant to Artic­les 30 and 31 shall be sub­ject to a limi­ta­ti­on peri­od of 5 years.

2. Time shall begin to run from the day on which the decis­i­on beco­mes final.

3. The limi­ta­ti­on peri­od for the enforce­ment of pen­al­ties shall be inter­rupt­ed:

(a) by noti­fi­ca­ti­on of a decis­i­on vary­ing the ori­gi­nal amount of the fine or peri­odic penal­ty payment or refu­sing an appli­ca­ti­on for varia­ti­on; or

(b) by any action of the Com­mis­si­on or of a Mem­ber Sta­te, acting at the request of the Com­mis­si­on, desi­gned to enforce payment of the fine or peri­odic penal­ty payment.

4. Each inter­rup­ti­on shall start time run­ning afresh.

5. The limi­ta­ti­on peri­od for the enforce­ment of pen­al­ties shall be sus­pen­ded for so long as:

(a) time to pay is allo­wed; or

(b) enforce­ment of payment is sus­pen­ded pur­su­ant to a decis­i­on of the Court of Justi­ce or to a decis­i­on by a natio­nal court.


Artic­le 34 Right to be heard and access to the file


1. Befo­re adop­ting a decis­i­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 8, Artic­le 9(1), Artic­le 10(1), Artic­les 17, 18, 24, 25, 29 and 30 and Artic­le 31(2), the Com­mis­si­on shall give the gate­kee­per or under­ta­king or asso­cia­ti­on of under­ta­kings con­cer­ned the oppor­tu­ni­ty of being heard on:

(a) preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings of the Com­mis­si­on, inclu­ding any mat­ter to which the Com­mis­si­on has taken objec­tion; and

(b) mea­su­res that the Com­mis­si­on may intend to take in view of the preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings pur­su­ant to point (a) of this para­graph.

2. Gate­kee­pers, under­ta­kings and asso­cia­ti­ons of under­ta­kings con­cer­ned may sub­mit their obser­va­tions to the Com­mis­si­on con­cer­ning the Commission’s preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings within a time limit set by the Com­mis­si­on in its preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings which may not be less than 14 days.

3. The Com­mis­si­on shall base its decis­i­ons only on preli­mi­na­ry fin­dings, inclu­ding any mat­ter to which the Com­mis­si­on has taken objec­tion, on which gate­kee­pers, under­ta­kings and asso­cia­ti­ons of under­ta­kings con­cer­ned have been able to com­ment.

4. The rights of defence of the gate­kee­per, under­ta­king or asso­cia­ti­on of under­ta­kings con­cer­ned shall be ful­ly respec­ted in any pro­ce­e­dings. The gate­kee­per, under­ta­king or asso­cia­ti­on of under­ta­kings con­cer­ned shall be entit­led to have access to the Commission’s file under terms of dis­clo­sure, sub­ject to the legi­ti­ma­te inte­rest of under­ta­kings in the pro­tec­tion of their busi­ness secrets. In the case of dis­agree­ment bet­ween the par­ties, the Com­mis­si­on may adopt decis­i­ons set­ting out tho­se terms of dis­clo­sure. The right of access to the file of the Com­mis­si­on shall not extend to con­fi­den­ti­al infor­ma­ti­on and inter­nal docu­ments of the Com­mis­si­on or the com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties of the Mem­ber Sta­tes. In par­ti­cu­lar, the right of access shall not extend to cor­re­spon­dence bet­ween the Com­mis­si­on and the com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties of the Mem­ber Sta­tes. Not­hing in this para­graph shall pre­vent the Com­mis­si­on from dis­clo­sing and using infor­ma­ti­on neces­sa­ry to pro­ve an infringement.


Artic­le 35 Annu­al reporting


1. The Com­mis­si­on shall sub­mit to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and to the Coun­cil an annu­al report on the imple­men­ta­ti­on of this Regu­la­ti­on and the pro­gress made towards achie­ving its objec­ti­ves.

2. The report refer­red to in para­graph 1 shall include:

(a) a sum­ma­ry of the Commission’s acti­vi­ties inclu­ding any adopted mea­su­res or decis­i­ons and ongo­ing mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­ons in con­nec­tion with this Regu­la­ti­on;

(b) the fin­dings resul­ting from the moni­to­ring of the imple­men­ta­ti­on by the gate­kee­pers of the obli­ga­ti­ons under this Regu­la­ti­on;

(c) an assess­ment of the audi­ted descrip­ti­on refer­red to in Artic­le 15;

(d) an over­view of the coope­ra­ti­on bet­ween the Com­mis­si­on and natio­nal aut­ho­ri­ties in con­nec­tion with this Regu­la­ti­on;

(e) an over­view of the acti­vi­ties and tasks per­for­med by the High Level Group of Digi­tal Regu­la­tors, inclu­ding how its recom­men­da­ti­ons as regards the enforce­ment of this Regu­la­ti­on are to be imple­men­ted.

3. The Com­mis­si­on shall publish the report on its website.


Artic­le 36 Pro­fes­sio­nal secrecy


1. The infor­ma­ti­on coll­ec­ted pur­su­ant to this Regu­la­ti­on shall be used for the pur­po­ses of this Regu­la­ti­on.

2. The infor­ma­ti­on coll­ec­ted pur­su­ant to Artic­le 14 shall be used for the pur­po­ses of this Regu­la­ti­on, Regu­la­ti­on (EC) No 139/2004 and natio­nal mer­ger rules.

3. The infor­ma­ti­on coll­ec­ted pur­su­ant to Artic­le 15 shall be used for the pur­po­ses of this Regu­la­ti­on and Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2016/679.

4. Wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the exch­an­ge and to the use of infor­ma­ti­on pro­vi­ded for the pur­po­se of use pur­su­ant to Artic­les 38, 39, 41 and 43, the Com­mis­si­on, the com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties of the Mem­ber Sta­tes, their offi­ci­als, ser­vants and other per­sons working under the super­vi­si­on of tho­se aut­ho­ri­ties and any natu­ral or legal per­son, inclu­ding audi­tors and experts appoin­ted pur­su­ant to Artic­le 26(2), shall not dis­c­lo­se infor­ma­ti­on acqui­red or exch­an­ged by them pur­su­ant to this Regu­la­ti­on and of the kind cover­ed by the obli­ga­ti­on of pro­fes­sio­nal secrecy.


Artic­le 37 Coope­ra­ti­on with natio­nal authorities


1. The Com­mis­si­on and Mem­ber Sta­tes shall work in clo­se coope­ra­ti­on and coor­di­na­te their enforce­ment actions to ensu­re coher­ent, effec­ti­ve and com­ple­men­ta­ry enforce­ment of available legal instru­ments applied to gate­kee­pers within the mea­ning of this Regu­la­ti­on.

2. The Com­mis­si­on may con­sult natio­nal aut­ho­ri­ties whe­re appro­pria­te, on any mat­ter rela­ting to the appli­ca­ti­on of this Regulation.


Artic­le 38 Coope­ra­ti­on and coor­di­na­ti­on with natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties enfor­cing com­pe­ti­ti­on rules


1. The Com­mis­si­on and the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties of the Mem­ber Sta­tes enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6) shall coope­ra­te with each other and inform each other about their respec­ti­ve enforce­ment actions through the Euro­pean Com­pe­ti­ti­on Net­work (ECN). They shall have the power to pro­vi­de one ano­ther with any infor­ma­ti­on regar­ding a mat­ter of fact or of law, inclu­ding con­fi­den­ti­al infor­ma­ti­on. Whe­re the com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty is not a mem­ber of the ECN, the Com­mis­si­on shall make the neces­sa­ry arran­ge­ments for coope­ra­ti­on and exch­an­ge of infor­ma­ti­on on cases con­cer­ning the enforce­ment of this Regu­la­ti­on and the enforce­ment of cases refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6) of such aut­ho­ri­ties. The Com­mis­si­on may lay down such arran­ge­ments in an imple­men­ting act as refer­red to in Artic­le 46(1), point (l).

2. Whe­re a natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty of the Mem­ber Sta­tes enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6) intends to launch an inve­sti­ga­ti­on on gate­kee­pers based on natio­nal laws refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6), it shall inform the Com­mis­si­on in wri­ting of the first for­mal inve­sti­ga­ti­ve mea­su­re, befo­re or imme­dia­te­ly after the start of such mea­su­re. This infor­ma­ti­on may also be made available to the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6) of the other Mem­ber Sta­tes.

3. Whe­re a natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty of the Mem­ber Sta­tes enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6) intends to impo­se obli­ga­ti­ons on gate­kee­pers based on natio­nal laws refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6), it shall, no later than 30 days befo­re its adop­ti­on, com­mu­ni­ca­te the draft mea­su­re to the Com­mis­si­on sta­ting the rea­sons for the mea­su­re. In the case of inte­rim mea­su­res, the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty of the Mem­ber Sta­tes enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6) shall com­mu­ni­ca­te to the Com­mis­si­on the draft mea­su­res envi­sa­ged as soon as pos­si­ble, and at the latest imme­dia­te­ly after the adop­ti­on of such mea­su­res. This infor­ma­ti­on may also be made available to the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6) of the other Mem­ber Sta­tes.

4. The infor­ma­ti­on mecha­nisms pro­vi­ded for in para­graphs 2 and 3 shall not app­ly to decis­i­ons envi­sa­ged pur­su­ant to natio­nal mer­ger rules.

5. Infor­ma­ti­on exch­an­ged pur­su­ant to para­graphs 1 to 3 of this Artic­le shall only be exch­an­ged and used for the pur­po­se of coor­di­na­ti­on of the enforce­ment of this Regu­la­ti­on and the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6).

6. The Com­mis­si­on may ask natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties of the Mem­ber Sta­tes enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6) to sup­port any of its mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­ons pur­su­ant to this Regu­la­ti­on.

7. Whe­re it has the com­pe­tence and inve­sti­ga­ti­ve powers to do so under natio­nal law, a natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ty of the Mem­ber Sta­tes enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6) may, on its own initia­ti­ve, con­duct an inve­sti­ga­ti­on into a case of pos­si­ble non-com­pli­ance with Artic­les 5, 6 and 7 of this Regu­la­ti­on on its ter­ri­to­ry. Befo­re taking a first for­mal inve­sti­ga­ti­ve mea­su­re, that aut­ho­ri­ty shall inform the Com­mis­si­on in wri­ting.

The ope­ning of pro­ce­e­dings by the Com­mis­si­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 20 shall reli­e­ve the natio­nal com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties of the Mem­ber Sta­tes enfor­cing the rules refer­red to in Artic­le 1(6) of the pos­si­bi­li­ty to con­duct such an inve­sti­ga­ti­on or end it whe­re it is alre­a­dy ongo­ing. Tho­se aut­ho­ri­ties shall report to the Com­mis­si­on on the fin­dings of such inve­sti­ga­ti­on in order to sup­port the Com­mis­si­on in its role as sole enforcer of this Regulation.


Artic­le 39 Coope­ra­ti­on with natio­nal courts


1. In pro­ce­e­dings for the appli­ca­ti­on of this Regu­la­ti­on, natio­nal courts may ask the Com­mis­si­on to trans­mit to them infor­ma­ti­on in its pos­ses­si­on or its opi­ni­on on que­sti­ons con­cer­ning the appli­ca­ti­on of this Regu­la­ti­on.

2. Mem­ber Sta­tes shall for­ward to the Com­mis­si­on a copy of any writ­ten judgment of natio­nal courts deci­ding on the appli­ca­ti­on of this Regu­la­ti­on. Such copy shall be for­ward­ed wit­hout delay after the full writ­ten judgment is noti­fi­ed to the par­ties.

3. Whe­re the coher­ent appli­ca­ti­on of this Regu­la­ti­on so requi­res, the Com­mis­si­on, acting on its own initia­ti­ve, may sub­mit writ­ten obser­va­tions to natio­nal courts. With the per­mis­si­on of the court in que­sti­on, it may also make oral obser­va­tions.

4. For the pur­po­se of the pre­pa­ra­ti­on of their obser­va­tions only, the Com­mis­si­on may request the rele­vant natio­nal court to trans­mit or ensu­re the trans­mis­si­on to the Com­mis­si­on of any docu­ments neces­sa­ry for the assess­ment of the case.

5. Natio­nal courts shall not give a decis­i­on which runs coun­ter to a decis­i­on adopted by the Com­mis­si­on under this Regu­la­ti­on. They shall also avo­id giving decis­i­ons which would con­flict with a decis­i­on con­tem­pla­ted by the Com­mis­si­on in pro­ce­e­dings it has initia­ted under this Regu­la­ti­on. To that effect, the natio­nal court may assess whe­ther it is neces­sa­ry to stay its pro­ce­e­dings. This is wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the pos­si­bi­li­ty for natio­nal courts to request a preli­mi­na­ry ruling under Artic­le 267 TFEU.


Artic­le 40 The high-level group


1. The Com­mis­si­on shall estab­lish a high-level group for the Digi­tal Mar­kets Act (‘the high-level group’).

2. The high-level group shall be com­po­sed of the fol­lo­wing Euro­pean bodies and net­works:

(a) Body of the Euro­pean Regu­la­tors for Elec­tro­nic Com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons;

(b) Euro­pean Data Pro­tec­tion Super­vi­sor and Euro­pean Data Pro­tec­tion Board;

(c) Euro­pean Com­pe­ti­ti­on Net­work;

(d) Con­su­mer Pro­tec­tion Coope­ra­ti­on Net­work; and

(e) Euro­pean Regu­la­to­ry Group of Audio­vi­su­al Media Regu­la­tors.

3. The Euro­pean bodies and net­works refer­red to in para­graph 2 shall each have an equal num­ber of repre­sen­ta­ti­ves in the high-level group. The maxi­mum num­ber of mem­bers of the high-level group shall not exce­ed 30.

4. The Com­mis­si­on shall pro­vi­de secre­ta­ri­at ser­vices to the high-level group in order to faci­li­ta­te its work. The high-level group shall be chai­red by the Com­mis­si­on, which shall par­ti­ci­pa­te in its mee­tings. The high-level group shall meet upon request of the Com­mis­si­on at least once per calen­dar year. The Com­mis­si­on shall also con­ve­ne a mee­ting of the group when so reque­sted by the majo­ri­ty of the mem­bers com­po­sing the group in order to address a spe­ci­fic issue.

5. The high-level group may pro­vi­de the Com­mis­si­on with advice and exper­ti­se in the are­as fal­ling within the com­pe­ten­ces of its mem­bers, inclu­ding:

(a) advice and recom­men­da­ti­ons within their exper­ti­se rele­vant for any gene­ral mat­ter of imple­men­ta­ti­on or enforce­ment of this Regu­la­ti­on; or

(b) advice and exper­ti­se pro­mo­ting a con­si­stent regu­la­to­ry approach across dif­fe­rent regu­la­to­ry instru­ments.

6. The high-level group may, in par­ti­cu­lar, iden­ti­fy and assess the cur­rent and poten­ti­al inter­ac­tions bet­ween this Regu­la­ti­on and the sec­tor-spe­ci­fic rules applied by the natio­nal aut­ho­ri­ties com­po­sing the Euro­pean bodies and net­works refer­red to in para­graph 2 and sub­mit an annu­al report to the Com­mis­si­on pre­sen­ting such assess­ment and iden­ti­fy­ing poten­ti­al trans-regu­la­to­ry issues. Such report may be accom­pa­nied by recom­men­da­ti­ons aiming at con­ver­ging towards con­si­stent trans­di­sci­pli­na­ry approa­ches and syn­er­gies bet­ween the imple­men­ta­ti­on of this Regu­la­ti­on and other sec­to­ral regu­la­ti­ons. The report shall be com­mu­ni­ca­ted to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and to the Coun­cil.

7. In the con­text of mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­ons into new ser­vices and new prac­ti­ces, the high-level group may pro­vi­de exper­ti­se to the Com­mis­si­on on the need to amend, add or remo­ve rules in this Regu­la­ti­on, to ensu­re that digi­tal mar­kets across the Uni­on are con­test­a­ble and fair.


Artic­le 41 Request for a mar­ket investigation


1. Three or more Mem­ber Sta­tes may request the Com­mis­si­on to open a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 17 becau­se they con­sider that the­re are rea­sonable grounds to suspect that an under­ta­king should be desi­gna­ted as a gate­kee­per.

2. One or more Mem­ber Sta­tes may request the Com­mis­si­on to open a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 18 becau­se they con­sider that the­re are rea­sonable grounds to suspect that a gate­kee­per has syste­ma­ti­cal­ly inf­rin­ged one or more of the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­les 5, 6 and 7 and has main­tai­ned, streng­the­ned or exten­ded its gate­kee­per posi­ti­on in rela­ti­on to the requi­re­ments under Artic­le 3(1).

3. Three or more Mem­ber Sta­tes may request the Com­mis­si­on to con­duct a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 19 becau­se they con­sider that the­re are rea­sonable grounds to suspect that:

(a) one or more ser­vices within the digi­tal sec­tor should be added to the list of core plat­form ser­vices laid down in Artic­le 2, point (2), or

(b) one or more prac­ti­ces are not effec­tively addres­sed by this Regu­la­ti­on and might limit the con­test­a­bi­li­ty of core plat­form ser­vices or be unfair.

4. Mem­ber Sta­tes shall sub­mit evi­dence in sup­port of their requests pur­su­ant to para­graphs 1, 2 and 3. For requests pur­su­ant to para­graph 3, such evi­dence may include infor­ma­ti­on on new­ly intro­du­ced offers of pro­ducts, ser­vices, soft­ware or fea­tures which rai­se con­cerns of con­test­a­bi­li­ty or fair­ness, whe­ther imple­men­ted in the con­text of exi­sting core plat­form ser­vices or other­wi­se.

5. Within 4 months of recei­ving a request pur­su­ant to this Artic­le, the Com­mis­si­on shall exami­ne whe­ther the­re are rea­sonable grounds to open a mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­on pur­su­ant to para­graph 1, 2 or 3. The Com­mis­si­on shall publish the results of its assessment.


Artic­le 42 Repre­sen­ta­ti­ve actions


Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2020/1828 shall app­ly to the repre­sen­ta­ti­ve actions brought against inf­rin­ge­ments by gate­kee­pers of pro­vi­si­ons of this Regu­la­ti­on that harm or may harm the coll­ec­ti­ve inte­rests of consumers.


Artic­le 43 Report­ing of brea­ches and pro­tec­tion of report­ing persons


Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2019/1937 shall app­ly to the report­ing of all brea­ches of this Regu­la­ti­on and the pro­tec­tion of per­sons report­ing such breaches.

CHAPTER VI FINAL PROVISIONS

Artic­le 44 Publi­ca­ti­on of decisions


1. The Com­mis­si­on shall publish the decis­i­ons which it takes pur­su­ant to Artic­les 3 and 4, Artic­le 8(2), Artic­les 9, 10, 16 to 20 and 24, Artic­le 25(1), Artic­les 29, 30 and 31. Such publi­ca­ti­on shall sta­te the names of the par­ties and the main con­tent of the decis­i­on, inclu­ding any pen­al­ties impo­sed.

2. The publi­ca­ti­on shall have regard to the legi­ti­ma­te inte­rest of gate­kee­pers or third par­ties in the pro­tec­tion of their con­fi­den­ti­al information.


Artic­le 45 Review by the Court of Justice


In accordance with Artic­le 261 TFEU, the Court of Justi­ce has unli­mi­t­ed juris­dic­tion to review decis­i­ons by which the Com­mis­si­on has impo­sed fines or peri­odic penal­ty payments. It may can­cel, redu­ce or increa­se the fine or peri­odic penal­ty payment imposed.


Artic­le 46 Imple­men­ting provisions


1. The Com­mis­si­on may adopt imple­men­ting acts lay­ing down detail­ed arran­ge­ments for the appli­ca­ti­on of the fol­lo­wing:

(a) the form, con­tent and other details of noti­fi­ca­ti­ons and sub­mis­si­ons pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3;

(b) the form, con­tent and other details of the tech­ni­cal mea­su­res that gate­kee­pers shall imple­ment in order to ensu­re com­pli­ance with Artic­le 5, 6 or 7;

(c) ope­ra­tio­nal and tech­ni­cal arran­ge­ments in view of imple­men­ting inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty of num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ser­vices pur­su­ant to Artic­le 7;

(d) the form, con­tent and other details of the rea­so­ned request pur­su­ant to Artic­le 8(3);

(e) the form, con­tent and other details of the rea­so­ned requests pur­su­ant to Artic­les 9 and 10;

(f) the form, con­tent and other details of the regu­la­to­ry reports deli­ver­ed pur­su­ant to Artic­le 11;

(g) the metho­do­lo­gy and pro­ce­du­re for the audi­ted descrip­ti­on of tech­ni­ques used for pro­fil­ing of con­su­mers pro­vi­ded for in Artic­le 15(1); when deve­lo­ping a draft imple­men­ting act for this pur­po­se, the Com­mis­si­on shall con­sult the Euro­pean Data Pro­tec­tion Super­vi­sor and may con­sult the Euro­pean Data Pro­tec­tion Board, civil socie­ty and other rele­vant experts;

(h) the form, con­tent and other details of noti­fi­ca­ti­ons and sub­mis­si­ons made pur­su­ant to Artic­les 14 and 15;

(i) the prac­ti­cal arran­ge­ments of the pro­ce­e­dings con­cer­ning the mar­ket inve­sti­ga­ti­ons pur­su­ant to Artic­les 17, 18 and 19, and pro­ce­e­dings pur­su­ant to Artic­les 24, 25 and 29;

(j) the prac­ti­cal arran­ge­ments for exer­cis­ing rights to be heard pro­vi­ded for in Artic­le 34;

(k) the prac­ti­cal arran­ge­ments for the terms of dis­clo­sure pro­vi­ded for in Artic­le 34;

(l) the prac­ti­cal arran­ge­ments for the coope­ra­ti­on and coor­di­na­ti­on bet­ween the Com­mis­si­on and natio­nal aut­ho­ri­ties pro­vi­ded for in Artic­les 37 and 38; and

(m) the prac­ti­cal arran­ge­ments for the cal­cu­la­ti­on and exten­si­on of dead­lines.

2. The imple­men­ting acts refer­red to in para­graph 1, points (a) to (k), and point (m) of this Artic­le shall be adopted in accordance with the advi­so­ry pro­ce­du­re refer­red to in Artic­le 50(2).

The imple­men­ting act refer­red to in para­graph 1, point (l), of this Artic­le shall be adopted in accordance with the exami­na­ti­on pro­ce­du­re refer­red to in Artic­le 50(3).

3. Befo­re the adop­ti­on of any imple­men­ting act pur­su­ant to para­graph 1, the Com­mis­si­on shall publish a draft the­reof and invi­te all inte­re­sted par­ties to sub­mit their comm­ents within a time limit, which may not be less than one month.


Artic­le 47 Guidelines


The Com­mis­si­on may adopt gui­de­lines on any of the aspects of this Regu­la­ti­on in order to faci­li­ta­te its effec­ti­ve imple­men­ta­ti­on and enforcement.


Artic­le 48 Standardisation


Whe­re appro­pria­te and neces­sa­ry, the Com­mis­si­on may man­da­te Euro­pean stan­dar­di­sati­on bodies to faci­li­ta­te the imple­men­ta­ti­on of the obli­ga­ti­ons set out in this Regu­la­ti­on by deve­lo­ping appro­pria­te standards.


Artic­le 49 Exer­cise of the delegation


1. The power to adopt dele­ga­ted acts is con­fer­red on the Com­mis­si­on sub­ject to the con­di­ti­ons laid down in this Artic­le.

2. The power to adopt dele­ga­ted acts refer­red to in Artic­le 3(6) and (7) and Artic­le 12(1), (3) and (4) shall be con­fer­red on the Com­mis­si­on for a peri­od of 5 years from 1 Novem­ber 2022. The Com­mis­si­on shall draw up a report in respect of the dele­ga­ti­on of power not later than 9 months befo­re the end of the five-year peri­od. The dele­ga­ti­on of power shall be taci­t­ly exten­ded for peri­ods of an iden­ti­cal dura­ti­on, unless the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment or the Coun­cil oppo­ses such exten­si­on not later than 3 months befo­re the end of each peri­od.

3. The dele­ga­ti­on of power refer­red to in Artic­le 3(6) and (7), and Artic­le 12(1), (3) and (4) may be revo­ked at any time by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment or by the Coun­cil. A decis­i­on to revo­ke shall put an end to the dele­ga­ti­on of the power spe­ci­fi­ed in that decis­i­on. It shall take effect the day fol­lo­wing the publi­ca­ti­on of the decis­i­on in the Offi­ci­al Jour­nal of the Euro­pean Uni­on or at a later date spe­ci­fi­ed the­r­ein. It shall not affect the vali­di­ty of any dele­ga­ted acts alre­a­dy in force.

4. Befo­re adop­ting a dele­ga­ted act, the Com­mis­si­on shall con­sult experts desi­gna­ted by each Mem­ber Sta­te in accordance with the prin­ci­ples laid down in the Inter­in­sti­tu­tio­nal Agree­ment of 13 April 2016 on Bet­ter Law-Making.

5. As soon as it adopts a dele­ga­ted act, the Com­mis­si­on shall noti­fy it simul­ta­neous­ly to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and to the Coun­cil.

6. A dele­ga­ted act adopted pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(6) and (7), and Artic­le 12(1), (3) and (4) shall enter into force only if no objec­tion has been expres­sed eit­her by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment or by the Coun­cil within a peri­od of 2 months of noti­fi­ca­ti­on of that act to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and to the Coun­cil or if, befo­re the expiry of that peri­od, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and the Coun­cil have both infor­med the Com­mis­si­on that they will not object. That peri­od shall be exten­ded by 2 months at the initia­ti­ve of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment or of the Council.


Artic­le 50 Com­mit­tee procedure


1. The Com­mis­si­on shall be assi­sted by a com­mit­tee (‘the Digi­tal Mar­kets Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee’). That com­mit­tee shall be a com­mit­tee within the mea­ning of Regu­la­ti­on (EU) No 182/2011.

2. Whe­re refe­rence is made to this para­graph, Artic­le 4 of Regu­la­ti­on (EU) No 182/2011 shall app­ly.

Whe­re the opi­ni­on of the com­mit­tee is to be obtai­ned by writ­ten pro­ce­du­re, that pro­ce­du­re shall be ter­mi­na­ted wit­hout result when, within the time limit for deli­very of the opi­ni­on, the chair of the com­mit­tee so deci­des or a simp­le majo­ri­ty of com­mit­tee mem­bers so request.

3. Whe­re refe­rence is made to this para­graph, Artic­le 5 of Regu­la­ti­on (EU) No 182/2011 shall app­ly.

4. The Com­mis­si­on shall com­mu­ni­ca­te the opi­ni­on of the com­mit­tee to the addres­see of an indi­vi­du­al decis­i­on, tog­e­ther with that decis­i­on. It shall make the opi­ni­on public tog­e­ther with the indi­vi­du­al decis­i­on, having regard to the legi­ti­ma­te inte­rest in the pro­tec­tion of pro­fes­sio­nal secrecy.


Artic­le 51 Amend­ment to Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2019/1937


In Point J of Part I of the Annex to Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2019/1937, the fol­lo­wing point is added:

‘(iv)

Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2022/1925 of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and of the Coun­cil of 14 Sep­tem­ber 2022 on con­test­a­ble and fair mar­kets in the digi­tal sec­tor and amen­ding Direc­ti­ves (EU) 2019/1937 and (EU) 2020/1828 (Digi­tal Mar­kets Act) (OJ L 265, 21.9.2022, p. 1).’


Artic­le 52 Amend­ment to Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2020/1828


In Annex I to Direc­ti­ve (EU) 2020/1828, the fol­lo­wing point is added:

‘(67)

Regu­la­ti­on (EU) 2022/1925 of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and of the Coun­cil of 14 Sep­tem­ber 2022 on con­test­a­ble and fair mar­kets in the digi­tal sec­tor and amen­ding Direc­ti­ves (EU) 2019/1937 and (EU) 2020/1828 (Digi­tal Mar­kets Act) (OJ L 265, 21.9.2022, p. 1).’


Artic­le 53 Review


1. By 3 May 2026, and sub­se­quent­ly every 3 years, the Com­mis­si­on shall eva­lua­te this Regu­la­ti­on and report to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, the Coun­cil and the Euro­pean Eco­no­mic and Social Com­mit­tee.

2. The eva­lua­tions shall assess whe­ther the aims of this Regu­la­ti­on of ensu­ring con­test­a­ble and fair mar­kets have been achie­ved and assess the impact of this Regu­la­ti­on on busi­ness users, espe­ci­al­ly SMEs, and end users. Moreo­ver, the Com­mis­si­on shall eva­lua­te if the scope of Artic­le 7 may be exten­ded to online social net­wor­king ser­vices.

3. The eva­lua­tions shall estab­lish whe­ther it is requi­red to modi­fy rules, inclu­ding regar­ding the list of core plat­form ser­vices laid down in Artic­le 2, point (2), the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in Artic­les 5, 6 and 7 and their enforce­ment, to ensu­re that digi­tal mar­kets across the Uni­on are con­test­a­ble and fair. Fol­lo­wing the eva­lua­tions, the Com­mis­si­on shall take appro­pria­te mea­su­res, which may include legis­la­ti­ve pro­po­sals.

4. The com­pe­tent aut­ho­ri­ties of Mem­ber Sta­tes shall pro­vi­de any rele­vant infor­ma­ti­on they have that the Com­mis­si­on may requi­re for the pur­po­ses of dra­wing up the report refer­red to in para­graph 1.


Artic­le 54 Ent­ry into force and application


This Regu­la­ti­on shall enter into force on the twen­tieth day fol­lo­wing that of its publi­ca­ti­on in the Offi­ci­al Jour­nal of the Euro­pean Uni­on.

It shall app­ly from 2 May 2023.

Howe­ver, Artic­le 3(6) and (7) and Artic­les 40, 46, 47, 48, 49 and 50 shall app­ly from 1 Novem­ber 2022 and Artic­le 42 and Artic­le 43 shall app­ly from 25 June 2023.

Nevert­hel­ess, if the date of 25 June 2023 pre­ce­des the date of appli­ca­ti­on refer­red to in the second para­graph of this Artic­le, the appli­ca­ti­on of Artic­le 42 and Artic­le 43 shall be post­po­ned until the date of appli­ca­ti­on refer­red to in the second para­graph of this Article.

ANNEX

A. ‘Gene­ral’


1. This Annex aims at spe­ci­fy­ing the metho­do­lo­gy for iden­ti­fy­ing and cal­cu­la­ting the ‘acti­ve end users’ and the ‘acti­ve busi­ness users’ for each core plat­form ser­vice listed in Artic­le 2, point (2). It pro­vi­des a refe­rence to enable an under­ta­king to assess whe­ther its core plat­form ser­vices meet the quan­ti­ta­ti­ve thres­holds set out in Artic­le 3(2), point (b) and would the­r­e­fo­re be pre­su­med to meet the requi­re­ment in Artic­le 3(1), point (b). Such refe­rence will the­r­e­fo­re equal­ly be of rele­van­ce to any broa­der assess­ment under Artic­le 3(8). It is the respon­si­bi­li­ty of the under­ta­king to come to the best appro­xi­ma­ti­on pos­si­ble in line with the com­mon prin­ci­ples and spe­ci­fic metho­do­lo­gy set out in this Annex. Not­hing in this Annex pre­clu­des the Com­mis­si­on, within the time limits laid down in the rele­vant pro­vi­si­ons of this Regu­la­ti­on, from requi­ring the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices to pro­vi­de any infor­ma­ti­on neces­sa­ry to iden­ti­fy and cal­cu­la­te the ‘acti­ve end users’ and the ‘acti­ve busi­ness users’. Not­hing in this Annex should con­sti­tu­te a legal basis for track­ing users. The metho­do­lo­gy con­tai­ned in this Annex is also wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to any of the obli­ga­ti­ons laid down in this Regu­la­ti­on, nota­b­ly in Artic­le 3(3) and (8) and Artic­le 13(3). In par­ti­cu­lar, the requi­red com­pli­ance with Artic­le 13(3) also means iden­ti­fy­ing and cal­cu­la­ting ‘acti­ve end users’ and ‘acti­ve busi­ness users’ based eit­her on a pre­cise mea­su­re­ment or on the best appro­xi­ma­ti­on available, in line with the actu­al iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on and cal­cu­la­ti­on capa­ci­ties that the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices pos­s­es­ses at the rele­vant point in time. Tho­se mea­su­re­ments or the best appro­xi­ma­ti­on available shall be con­si­stent with, and include, tho­se repor­ted under Artic­le 15.

2. Artic­le 2, points (20) and (21) set out the defi­ni­ti­ons of ‘end user’ and ‘busi­ness user’, which are com­mon to all core plat­form ser­vices. 3.

In order to iden­ti­fy and cal­cu­la­te the num­ber of ‘acti­ve end users’ and ‘acti­ve busi­ness users’, this Annex refers to the con­cept of ‘uni­que users’. The con­cept of ‘uni­que users’ encom­pas­ses ‘acti­ve end users’ and ‘acti­ve busi­ness users’ coun­ted only once, for the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vice, over the cour­se of a spe­ci­fi­ed time peri­od (i.e. month in case of ‘acti­ve end users’ and year in case of ‘acti­ve busi­ness users’), no mat­ter how many times they enga­ged with the rele­vant core plat­form ser­vice over that peri­od. This is wit­hout pre­ju­di­ce to the fact that the same natu­ral or legal per­son can simul­ta­neous­ly con­sti­tu­te an ‘acti­ve end user’ or an ‘acti­ve busi­ness user’ for dif­fe­rent core plat­form services.


B. ‘Acti­ve end users’


1. The num­ber of ‘uni­que users’ as regards ‘acti­ve end users’ shall be iden­ti­fi­ed accor­ding to the most accu­ra­te metric repor­ted by the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding any of the core plat­form ser­vices, spe­ci­fi­cal­ly:

a. It is con­side­red that coll­ec­ting data about the use of core plat­form ser­vices from signed-in or log­ged-in envi­ron­ments would pri­ma facie pre­sent the lowest risk of dupli­ca­ti­on, for exam­p­le in rela­ti­on to user beha­viour across devices or plat­forms. Hence, the under­ta­king shall sub­mit aggre­ga­te anony­mi­zed data on the num­ber of uni­que end users per respec­ti­ve core plat­form ser­vice based on signed-in or log­ged-in envi­ron­ments, if such data exists.

b. In the case of core plat­form ser­vices which are also acce­s­sed by end users out­side signed-in or log­ged-in envi­ron­ments, the under­ta­king shall addi­tio­nal­ly sub­mit aggre­ga­te anony­mi­zed data on the num­ber of uni­que end users of the respec­ti­ve core plat­form ser­vice based on an alter­na­te metric cap­tu­ring also end users out­side signed-in or log­ged-in envi­ron­ments, such as inter­net pro­to­col addres­ses, coo­kie iden­ti­fiers or other iden­ti­fiers such as radio fre­quen­cy iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on tags, pro­vi­ded that tho­se addres­ses or iden­ti­fiers are objec­tively neces­sa­ry for the pro­vi­si­on of the core plat­form ser­vices.

2. The num­ber of ‘month­ly acti­ve end users’ is based on the avera­ge num­ber of month­ly acti­ve end users throug­hout the lar­gest part of the finan­cial year. The noti­on ‘the lar­gest part of the finan­cial year’ is inten­ded to allow an under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices to dis­count out­lier figu­res in a given year. Out­lier figu­res inher­ent­ly mean figu­res that fall signi­fi­cant­ly out­side the nor­mal and fore­seeable figu­res. An unfo­re­seen peak or drop in user enga­ge­ment that occur­red during a sin­gle month of the finan­cial year is an exam­p­le of what could con­sti­tu­te such out­lier figu­res. Figu­res rela­ted to annu­al­ly recur­ring occur­ren­ces, such as annu­al sales pro­mo­ti­ons, are not out­lier figu­res.

C. ‘Acti­ve busi­ness users’


The num­ber of ‘uni­que users’ as regards ‘acti­ve busi­ness users’ is to be deter­mi­ned, whe­re appli­ca­ble, at the account level with each distinct busi­ness account asso­cia­ted with the use of a core plat­form ser­vice pro­vi­ded by the under­ta­king con­sti­tu­ting one uni­que busi­ness user of that respec­ti­ve core plat­form ser­vice. If the noti­on of ‘busi­ness account’ does not app­ly to a given core plat­form ser­vice, the rele­vant under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices shall deter­mi­ne the num­ber of uni­que busi­ness users by refer­ring to the rele­vant undertaking.


D. ‘Sub­mis­si­on of information’


1. The under­ta­king sub­mit­ting to the Com­mis­si­on pur­su­ant to Artic­le 3(3) infor­ma­ti­on con­cer­ning the num­ber of acti­ve end users and acti­ve busi­ness users per core plat­form ser­vice shall be respon­si­ble for ensu­ring the com­ple­ten­ess and accu­ra­cy of that infor­ma­ti­on. In that regard:

a. The under­ta­king shall be respon­si­ble for sub­mit­ting data for a respec­ti­ve core plat­form ser­vice that avo­ids under-coun­ting and over-coun­ting the num­ber of acti­ve end users and acti­ve busi­ness users (for exam­p­le, whe­re users access the core plat­form ser­vices across dif­fe­rent plat­forms or devices).

b. The under­ta­king shall be respon­si­ble for pro­vi­ding pre­cise and suc­cinct expl­ana­ti­ons about the metho­do­lo­gy used to arri­ve at the infor­ma­ti­on and for any risk of under-coun­ting or over-coun­ting of the num­ber of acti­ve end users and acti­ve busi­ness users for a respec­ti­ve core plat­form ser­vice and for the solu­ti­ons adopted to address that risk.

c. The under­ta­king shall pro­vi­de data that is based on an alter­na­ti­ve metric when the Com­mis­si­on has con­cerns about the accu­ra­cy of data pro­vi­ded by the under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form ser­vices.

2. For the pur­po­se of cal­cu­la­ting the num­ber of ‘acti­ve end users’ and ‘acti­ve busi­ness users’:

a. The under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form service(s) shall not iden­ti­fy core plat­form ser­vices that belong to the same cate­go­ry of core plat­form ser­vices pur­su­ant to Artic­le 2, point (2) as distinct main­ly on the basis that they are pro­vi­ded using dif­fe­rent domain names, whe­ther coun­try code top-level domains (ccTLDs) or gene­ric top-level domains (gTLDs), or any geo­gra­phic attri­bu­tes.

b. The under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form service(s) shall con­sider as distinct core plat­form ser­vices tho­se core plat­form ser­vices, which are used for dif­fe­rent pur­po­ses by eit­her their end users or their busi­ness users, or both, even if their end users or busi­ness users may be the same and even if they belong to the same cate­go­ry of core plat­form ser­vices pur­su­ant to Artic­le 2, point (2).

c. The under­ta­king pro­vi­ding core plat­form service(s) shall con­sider as distinct core plat­form ser­vices tho­se ser­vices which the rele­vant under­ta­king offers in an inte­gra­ted way, but which:

(i) do not belong to the same cate­go­ry of core plat­form ser­vices pur­su­ant to Artic­le 2, point (2); or

(ii) are used for dif­fe­rent pur­po­ses by eit­her their end users or their busi­ness users, or both, even if their end users and busi­ness users may be the same and even if they belong to the same cate­go­ry of core plat­form ser­vices pur­su­ant to Artic­le 2, point (2).


E. ‘Spe­ci­fic definitions’


The table below sets out spe­ci­fic defi­ni­ti­ons of ‘acti­ve end users’ and ‘acti­ve busi­ness users’ for each core plat­form ser­vice.

Core plat­form ser­vices

Acti­ve end users

Acti­ve busi­ness users

Online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices

Num­ber of uni­que end users who enga­ged with the online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vice at least once in the month for exam­p­le through actively log­ging-in, making a query, clicking or scrol­ling or con­clu­ded a tran­sac­tion through the online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vice at least once in the month.

Num­ber of uni­que busi­ness users who had at least one item listed in the online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vice during the who­le year or con­clu­ded a tran­sac­tion enab­led by the online inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vice during the year.

Online search engi­nes

Num­ber of uni­que end users who enga­ged with the online search engi­ne at least once in the month, for exam­p­le through making a query.

Num­ber of uni­que busi­ness users with busi­ness web­sites (i.e. web­site used in com­mer­cial or pro­fes­sio­nal capa­ci­ty) inde­xed by or part of the index of the online search engi­ne during the year.

Online social net­wor­king ser­vices

Num­ber of uni­que end users who enga­ged with the online social net­wor­king ser­vice at least once in the month, for exam­p­le through actively log­ging-in, ope­ning a page, scrol­ling, clicking, liking, making a query, posting or com­men­ting.

Num­ber of uni­que busi­ness users who have a busi­ness listing or busi­ness account in the online social net­wor­king ser­vice and have enga­ged in any way with the ser­vice at least once during the year, for exam­p­le through actively log­ging-in, ope­ning a page, scrol­ling, clicking, liking, making a query, posting, com­men­ting or using its tools for busi­nesses.

Video-sha­ring plat­form ser­vices

Num­ber of uni­que end users who enga­ged with the video-sha­ring plat­form ser­vice at least once in the month, for exam­p­le through play­ing a seg­ment of audio­vi­su­al con­tent, making a query or uploa­ding a pie­ce of audio­vi­su­al con­tent, nota­b­ly inclu­ding user-gene­ra­ted vide­os.

Num­ber of uni­que busi­ness users who pro­vi­ded at least one pie­ce of audio­vi­su­al con­tent uploa­ded or play­ed on the video-sha­ring plat­form ser­vice during the year.

Num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on ser­vices

Num­ber of uni­que end users who initia­ted or par­ti­ci­pa­ted in any way in a com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on through the num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on ser­vice at least once in the month.

Num­ber of uni­que busi­ness users who used a busi­ness account or other­wi­se initia­ted or par­ti­ci­pa­ted in any way in a com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on through the num­ber-inde­pen­dent inter­per­so­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on ser­vice to com­mu­ni­ca­te direct­ly with an end user at least once during the year.

Ope­ra­ting systems

Num­ber of uni­que end users who uti­li­sed a device with the ope­ra­ting system, which has been acti­va­ted, updated or used at least once in the month.

Num­ber of uni­que deve­lo­pers who published, updated or offe­red at least one soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on or soft­ware pro­gram using the pro­gramming lan­guage or any soft­ware deve­lo­p­ment tools of, or run­ning in any way on, the ope­ra­ting system during the year.

Vir­tu­al assi­stant

Num­ber of uni­que end users who enga­ged with the vir­tu­al assi­stant in any way at least once in the month, such as for exam­p­le through acti­vat­ing it, asking a que­sti­on, acce­s­sing a ser­vice through a com­mand or con­trol­ling a smart home device.

Num­ber of uni­que deve­lo­pers who offe­red at least one vir­tu­al assi­stant soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on or a func­tion­a­li­ty to make an exi­sting soft­ware appli­ca­ti­on acce­s­si­ble through the vir­tu­al assi­stant during the year.

Web brow­sers

Num­ber of uni­que end users who enga­ged with the web brow­ser at least once in the month, for exam­p­le through inser­ting a query or web­site address in the URL line of the web brow­ser.

Num­ber of uni­que busi­ness users who­se busi­ness web­sites (i.e. web­site used in com­mer­cial or pro­fes­sio­nal capa­ci­ty) have been acce­s­sed via the web brow­ser at least once during the year or who offe­red a plug-in, exten­si­on or add-ons used on the web brow­ser during the year.

Cloud com­pu­ting ser­vices

Num­ber of uni­que end users who enga­ged with any cloud com­pu­ting ser­vices from the rele­vant pro­vi­der of cloud com­pu­ting ser­vices at least once in the month, in return for any type of remu­ne­ra­ti­on, regard­less of whe­ther this remu­ne­ra­ti­on occurs in the same month.

Num­ber of uni­que busi­ness users who pro­vi­ded any cloud com­pu­ting ser­vices hosted in the cloud infras­truc­tu­re of the rele­vant pro­vi­der of cloud com­pu­ting ser­vices during the year.

Online adver­ti­sing ser­vices

For pro­prie­ta­ry sales of adver­ti­sing space:

Num­ber of uni­que end users who were expo­sed to an adver­ti­se­ment impres­si­on at least once in the month.

For adver­ti­sing inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices (inclu­ding adver­ti­sing net­works, adver­ti­sing exch­an­ges and any other adver­ti­sing inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices):

Num­ber of uni­que end users who were expo­sed to an adver­ti­se­ment impres­si­on which trig­ge­red the adver­ti­sing inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vice at least once in the month.

For pro­prie­ta­ry sales of adver­ti­sing space:

Num­ber of uni­que adver­ti­sers who had at least one adver­ti­se­ment impres­si­on dis­play­ed during the year.

For adver­ti­sing inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices (inclu­ding adver­ti­sing net­works, adver­ti­sing exch­an­ges and any other adver­ti­sing inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vices):

Num­ber of uni­que busi­ness users (inclu­ding adver­ti­sers, publishers or other inter­me­dia­tors) who inter­ac­ted via or were ser­ved by the adver­ti­sing inter­me­dia­ti­on ser­vice during the year.