The European Commission’s planned Digital Services Act (DSA) is set to replace the existing e‑Commerce Directive as the primary legal framework for online services in the EU. The scope is expected to cover all digital services, including online platforms, search engines, Internet service providers, cloud services, content delivery networks, domain name services, collaborative economy platforms, online advertising services, and services built on electronic contracts and distributed ledger technologies (such as cryptocurrencies). However, early drafts of the DSA appear to set out criteria that may be at odds with broader policy objectives. The legislation must be considered very carefully to avoid unintended consequences that harm consumers and wider society.

Oxera is working with Allied for Startups to explore the potential implications of the DSA for the digital economy and the wider impacts on businesses. Today we are publishing our emerging thinking about the DSA and evidence on the importance of the digital economy in a number of key markets. Our analysis shows that careful drafting of the DSA is vital to ensuring the digital economy continues to generate value for member states’ economies and society more widely.

How could the digital services act affect the economy?

Select a country to read the briefing note