AER Statement on the DMA trialogue agreement

Brussels, 25 March 2022

The Association of European Radios (AER) welcomes the outcome of the trialogue negotiations and the agreement reached by the EU institutions on the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

We welcome the political vision shown by the policy makers and the significant steps taken to tackle unfair conduct by online gatekeepers that harms contestability and fairness in digital markets.

Matt Payton, AER’s Secretary General, said “Europe’s commercial radio sector has been calling upon the Commission and the EU co-legislators to tackle the risks associated with listening platforms in a gatekeeping position, so that listeners can continue to enjoy unfettered access to radio stations of their choice over the long term, free at the point of use.

The agreement on the DMA, with its much-needed ex-ante regulatory approach, provides a unique opportunity for the EU to tackle the growing challenges that digital platforms pose to the radio sector, at a time when these platforms are increasingly taking control of large parts of the digital audio ecosystem. We welcome its adoption”.

Maintaining tight quantitative thresholds, introducing voice assistants and web browsers into the list of core platform services, combined with the do’s and don’ts in articles 5 and 6 (for example, those which relate to self-preferencing, data-hoarding, and Sherlocking), will help to mitigate the growing challenge that virtual assistant platforms in a gatekeeping position pose to radio, and create opportunities for increased digital audio listening and innovation.

Proper implementation and effective enforcement by the European Commission is the next step that needs to be achieved in order to truly ensure fair and open digital markets.