Telecoms industry bodies the GSMA and ETNO welcomed the adoption of two flagship acts by the European Parliament, noting they will help reduce the spread of illegal content online and ensure greater fairness in digital markets.

The Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA) are now set to enter into force later this year after overwhelming votes in their favour were achieved in the European Parliament this week.

A last remaining hurdle is the formal adoption by the Council of the European Union. The rules were unveiled by European Commission EVP Margrethe Vestager (pictured) in December 2020.

The DSA sets out obligations for digital service providers, such as social media or marketplaces, “to tackle the spread of illegal content, online disinformation and other societal risks”. The DMA, meanwhile, was established to ensure major online platforms behave in a fair way.

In a joint statement, the GSMA and ETNO said the two pieces of legislation together “mark a significant step forward to restoring a level-playing in the internet value chain, and we encourage the EU institutions to keep pursuing this goal for the remainder of the present mandate”.

MEP Christel Schaldemose, rapporteur for the DSA, stated tech giants have “for too long” benefited from “an absence of rules”.

“The digital world has developed into a Wild West, with the biggest and strongest setting the rules. But there is a new sheriff in town, the DSA,” she said.

MEP Andreas Schwab, rapporteur for the DMA, added the EU no longer accepts the “survival of the financially strongest”.

“The purpose of the digital single market is that Europe gets the best companies and not just the biggest. This is why we need to focus on the legislation’s implementation,” he concluded.