Amsterdam, 21 december 2020 Dutch Startup Association believes that the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act proposals made by the European Commission last week still raises numerous questions. Prior to this, the Dutch Startup Association, together with partners Allied for Startups, Techleap.nl and StartupAmsterdam, already raised awareness by means of a petition. The latter action was performed to ensure that the proposal discussed this summer would not hinder innovation. 

According to the Dutch Startup Association, the creation of too many barriers for startups and scale-ups will drive away dynamic, growth-focused companies and result in them establishing somewhere else. The representative of startups is of the opinion that the proposed legislation is largely focused on limiting the power of large companies, while fast-growing companies might also suffer from this.

“It is great to see that Europe is taking actions with regards to the competitive mediascape. It is of importance for innovation and growth. It is also essential that no unnecessary barriers are created. The Commission now limits 45 million European users from using a platform. The amount of users seems arbitrary. It might seem sufficient, however, regulations last for years. It is difficult to predict how hard companies will prosper and we do not want to restrict this growth too early. As we have seen in the past, there have been many incorrect assumptions made related to this. IBM believed that the world would be satisfied enough with five computers and Microsoft thought that 637 Kb memory would be enough for everyone. Numbers change rapidly in the digital age. Startups can grow faster and faster, and the process will only quicken more. It is, therefore, crucial that Europe, just as startups, commits to, for example,a yearly validation where thresholds bring the just separation between dominant market actors and challengers,” as stated by Lucien Burm.

The digital economy plays a major role in society, a change which is accelerated as a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak. Digital platforms are essential for new economic growth and for the connecting relationship between consumers and products. Unnecessary barriers will have significant consequences for economic growth and related activities, according to the Dutch Startup Association.

“I would find it worrisome if a successful platform such as TicketSwap would be hindered in their journey to becoming the largest European player, if they would be halted on the basis of what is offered to them. It is not just about numbers. That is too much of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, rather than constructively looking at the underlying causes and the most fitting solutions to these. The commission of a national Digital Services Coordinator is also unclear for me,”, as told by Lucien Burm. 

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About the Dutch Startup Association

The Dutch Startup Association is the largest representative for startups and scale-ups and strives to prioritize any matters related to the engines of the future economy on the political agendas. DSA was established in 2017 by Dutch startups, who separately aimed for political lobbying and decided to bundle their powers together.