In an attempt to meet the challenges of the digital revolution, the Competition Authority, in its contribution to the debate on competition policy and the digital economy published on 21 February 2020 suggested the introduction of new provisions in competition law specific to “structuring digital platforms” such as GAFAM. Starting from the premise that such platforms must first be identified in order to understand their behavior, the Authority has proposed a general definition of the notion of “structuring digital platform” in three stages, which could then be supported by guidelines.

Falling within this classification would be: “1) undertakings which provide online intermediation services with a view to exchanging, buying or selling goods, content or services, and 2) which have structuring market power a) because of their size, financial capacity, community of users and/ or the data they hold, b) allowing them to control access or significantly affect the operation of the markets in which they operate, 3) with respect to their competitors, users and/or third-party operators which depend for their economic activity on access to the services they offer”.

The Authority also suggests establishing a list of practices raising competition concerns, while specifying that they should not be subject to an automatic prohibition but should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Among the practices targeted would be the discrimination of competing products or services using the platform’s services, hindering access to markets in which they are not dominant or structuring, the use of data on a dominated market to impede market access, making the interoperability of products or services or data portability more difficult, or preventing multi-homing.