Nora Kürzdörfer / Felix Garten
Digital Diplomacy and Statecraft Policy Brief | 2023
The Digital Services Act and the Digital Market Act pose an important addition to the EU’s toolbox to limit the power of digital companies. The DSA is directed at protecting consumer rights and at enhancing accountability of platforms. The DMA serves to achieve fair competition on the digital market that has taken an oligopoly-like structure. We explain an aspect that is largely overlooked in the debate on the new regulation, its potential to reduce the weaponization of digital dependence. While the DMA helps to reduce the power of single actors, the DSA provides a useful tool to obtain more knowledge about the underlying structure of digital networks. This is crucial to understand what actors are able to exercise coercion over others. Policymakers can cooperate with researchers that are able to inquire platform data under the DSA’s transparency regime from 2024 onwards. This will be possible only if companies do not abuse their right to withhold information under specific circumstances. In addition, the weaponization of interdependence has to be acknowledged as systemic risk to ensure that academics working on the issue are able to obtain data. If these conditions are met, researchers and practitioners would benefit jointly.
Digital Diplomacy and Statecraft Policy Brief
German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)