Coalition for Competitive Digital Markets
The current Digital Markets Act is not enough. We need better rules to make digital markets open and contestable.

We are a coalition of 50+ companies coming from 16 countries (12 Member States).
Join us if you are a technology firm in the European market and support open, interoperable and competitive markets.
The web was built as an open decentralised platform and has now been taken over by big corporations. It is time for the pendulum to swing back the other way. By enabling interoperability we will give choice to the user again and open up the markets to innovation.
Amandine Le Pape, COO - Element
The European internet industry could grow by offering better, open source alternatives to the walled gardens of the dominant players, giving more choice to consumers and creating jobs and opportunities. However, this requires restoring fair competition by mandating the adoption of interoperability through open standards – one of the original principles of the internet.
Vittorio Bertola, Head of Policy & Innovation - Open-Xchange
Gatekeepers cement their market dominance through a number of tactics, not least a thorough understanding of consumer behaviour and psychology. Using pre-installed apps is a prime example of this. They know that 95% of users never change default settings, meaning they can exploit “pre-installation bias” to lock consumers into using their services and shut startups out of the market. The only way to counter this is an effective ban on the pre-installing of default apps, giving users a choice over the core services they use. When presented with a choice, we know people make very different decisions and this choice is fundamental if we want to build a market with fair competition between gatekeepers and European digital SMEs.
Andy Yen, CEO - Proton AG
We are partnering up with a group of other industry players to bring attention to the unbalanced relationship between smaller digital players and the large dominant digital companies. We believe that all companies should play by fair rules.
Dr Oliver Grün, President - European DIGITAL SME Alliance
Freedoms flourish in the absence of walls, and where there is interoperability and choice. Surveillance capitalism does not. Mojeek provides search free of surveillance, and with its own European search engine stack.
Colin Hayhurst, CEO - Mojeek
Interoperability is key to tech competition. Compatible systems, and legal frameworks that enable them, are vital in combating tech concentration. For Mailfence, privacy and interoperability are not just features but at the heart of our design philosophy.
Patrick De Schutter, Managing Director - Mailfence
We believe in equal opportunities and fair competition, in order for every company, irrespectively of its size, to contribute with its vision to an open and innovative European Digital Market. It’s time to promote interoperability and freedom of choice for all users.
Konstantinos Papapanagiotou, Managing Director - RENVIS
There is a great opportunity for more innovation and renewal in the European Digital Market, if a level playing field can be achieved. Interoperability and consumer choice are key for the EU digital economy in this regard.
Frank Karlitschek, CEO - Nextcloud GmbH
Open Letter: The EU Needs an Effective Digital Markets Act

We are writing to you as the Coalition for Competitive Digital Markets, which represents 50+ companies from 16 countries (12 Member States) as well as the European DIGITAL SME Alliance, a business association of more than 45,000 digital SMEs, to urge you to include and support in the upcoming Digital Markets Act the stronger upfront rules for dominant “gatekeeper” firms detailed below. Such requirements are key to unleashing Europe’s economic potential and empowering market challengers to ultimately stand a chance for becoming global tech leaders.

  • Extend the interoperability provision to all core platform services, for all business and consumer offerings. Interoperability is a key factor in the Internet’s original success and a key tool for the EU to gain digital sovereignty, restore opportunities amongst industry players of all sizes and promote fair competition on digital markets. An interoperability provision extended to all consumer platform services would result in more efficiency for businesses and public administrations, thus fuelling competition and innovation in the digital markets, by enabling companies of any size to compete with the gatekeepers on the basis of their merits.
  • Prohibit the gatekeepers’ harmful self-preferencing by introducing an explicit pre-installation and default setting ban for core platform services. End-users should be able to select their preferred core platform service through for example a preference menu. Just the possibility to uninstall applications or to more easily change defaults is by far not enough to address the core of the problem, since 95% of users never change the defaults that come with their device. This is especially harmful on smartphones, now the main gateway to the Internet for most users.
  • Extend the bundling prohibition to ancillary services, as narrowing the provision to core services only could still limit market contestability. Bundling is a common way for gatekeepers to extend their dominance into other services, rapidly taking over the related markets.

Digital markets where incumbent companies already benefit from large user bases are extremely hard to challenge due to the so-called “network effect”, even when other companies and startups conceive better, more innovative products. Gatekeepers build closed ecosystems - “walled gardens” - through the lack of interoperability, and then use bundling and self-preferencing to expand them into other products and services. Enforcing competition, consumer choice and interoperation with other service providers would allow European challengers to compete on the merits of their services.

The Digital Markets Act holds the potential to solve the above issues and unleash the European internet industry. To move away from those walled gardens, we urge you to ensure that the DMA tackles barriers to interoperability, bundling and anticompetitive default setting through pre-installation.

We hope you will seize this opportunity.

About the coalition

The Coalition for Competitive Digital Markets is an initiative launched by European companies in October 2021. It aims to advance fairness and stronger openness in digital markets, allowing businesses of all sizes to compete on fair grounds. This is why we focus on the aspects of 1) Interoperability; 2) Pre-installation & default settings; and 3) Bundling; in the negotiations around the Digital Markets Act. This is a crucial time to take action for competition and innovation in Europe. And we need your voice.

These companies and business associations have already signed!