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Digital Markets Act - Device Neutrality must be consolidated in the legislation


On December 15, the Digital Markets Act, the EU's comprehensive regulatory package for internet platforms, will go through plenary voting at the European Parliament. The FSFE calls for consolidating Device Neutrality to enable fair and non-discriminatory use of Free Software in digital devices.

The European Union is about to introduce a major overhaul of Internet legislation with the Digital Markets Act (DMA). After successful committee voting on 22 November, the European Parliament will conduct plenary voting on 15 December. The FSFE advocates Device Neutrality as a fundamental step to achieve a contestable, open, and competitive digital market in the EU and urges the European Parliament to secure this principle in the final voting.

Device Neutrality - fostering Free Sofware in an end-user centric digital market

The DMA focuses on "gatekeepers", understood as very large tech companies that have control over large parts of digital services, such as search engines, social networking services, messaging services, operating systems, and online intermediation services. While digital devices are a ubiquitous reality in all aspects of life, our control over the hardware and software running on them is increasingly being limited. Device Neutrality is the policy concept that users should have the right of non-discrimination of the services and software they use, based on platform control by hardware vendors, manufacturers, and service providers. The goal is to enable users to bypass gatekeepers and enable a fair and non-discriminatory use of Free Software in devices.

After many iterations and amendments, the DMA's final text submitted to the plenary voting incorporates the following Device Neutrality principles, which the FSFE urges the European Parliament to consolidate in the plenary voting:

Device Neutrality principles
Device neutrality principles