IMPALA welcomes review of competition rules as part of new EU digital strategy

Brussels, 19th February 2020

Today, the European Commission presented its new strategy to shape Europe’s digital future. This includes a review of competition policy and other key policy areas to deliver a fair and competitive economy.

Helen Smith, IMPALA’s Executive Chair, said: “The starting point is the EU’s acknowledgement that a level playing field is essential and that rules applying offline need to also apply online. This should apply across the board, from competition to copyright, through to taxation. This sounds obvious but the reality is that online platforms too often get a free pass”.

Smith continued: “We encourage the commission to move quickly with its planned review of competition rules. This is in line with our call for the EU to make sure its competition framework is fit for purpose in the digital age. This means more frequent use of interim measures, being able to review minority shareholdings, and overhauling key concepts such as “abuse of dominance” and “essential facilities”. A lot needs to happen in this area to deliver a fair market”.

Smith concluded: “We also support exploring new rules to prevent platforms with significant network effects from acting as gatekeepers. This is vital. We also need to build on the Platform-to-Business Regulation to address unfair trading practices and ensure small players are not disadvantaged in today’s online markets”.

IMPALA was established in April 2000 to represent European independent music companies. 99% of Europe’s music companies are SMEs. Known as the “independents”, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists. They produce more than 80% of all new releases and account for 80% of the sector’s jobs. IMPALA’s mission is to grow the independent music sector, return more value to artists, promote cultural diversity and entrepreneurship, improve political access and modernise perceptions of the music sector.

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