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PRESS RELEASE: eu travel tech welcomes the DMA agreement and stresses that enforcement and complementarity with EU competition law will remain crucial

PRESS STATEMENT – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Brussels, March 25, 2022 – The agreement on the Digital Markets Act is essential for regulating gatekeepers and ensuring fair and contestable European digital markets. However, its implementation and complementarity with EU competition law will be decisive to achieve the expected results.

Eu travel tech welcomes the effort of EU policymakers over the last 16 months to strike a swift and balanced agreement on the DMA which will enshrine remedies against unfair business practices of gatekeepers in EU law.

Digital platforms undoubtedly bring important benefits for European consumers and contribute to the internal market by increasing consumer choice and opening new business opportunities. However, eu travel tech members have had longstanding concerns regarding specific anticompetitive practices, such as self-preferencing, that do not allow players to compete in the market based on the merits. The agreed ban on self-preferencing, prohibiting a gatekeeper from treating its own services more favourably, paves the way to tackle such practices via a straightforward process.

The agreement on the DMA sets a clear policy direction for Europe, but its effectiveness will only be as good as its enforcement. The EU policymakers’ consensus on banning self-preferencing adds to the European General Court’s decision[1] on the Google Shopping case clarifying[2] that Google has abused its dominant position by continuing the practice of favouring its own specialised search services within general search results pages. It is now time for the Commission to act swiftly and ensure that Google puts an end to its anticompetitive practices as soon as possible by implementing the adequate remedies.

Emmanuel Mounier, Secretary General of eu travel tech said: As critical as the DMA is, there is no time to lose. eu travel tech is aligned with Commissioner Vestager’s statements today, highlighting the importance of continuing to work on competition cases when it is relevant to do so. For the travel tech sector, the next logical step is to follow up on the Google Shopping case decision and open an investigation in the travel sector.

-ENDS-

For any questions:

Emmanuel Mounier
Secretary General, eu travel tech
+32 499 80 13 74
emounier@eutraveltech.eu

[1] Decision T-612/17 of the 10 November 2021
[2] See paragraphs 351 to 355 of the decision