On 15 December 2020, the European Commission published the long-awaited proposals for regulation of online platforms – the Digital Services Act (“DSA”) and the Digital Markets Act (“DMA”) – which form a part of its strategy to make Europe “fit for the digital age”. On the same day, the UK Government published its response to the Online Harms White Paper outlining its intention to introduce the Online Safety Bill in 2021 and confirming that Ofcom will become the online harms regulator in the UK.
All three proposals introduce new regulations for online platforms operating in Europe and, if approved, new regulatory frameworks to comply with. All three proposals also come with a threat of substantial fines for platforms that breach the proposed rules. Once approved, the new regulations are likely to be relevant not only to platforms based in Europe but also global platforms offering services to EU and / or UK customers.