On 19 December 2022, the Commissioner for Internal Market of the EU published an update on the date when very large online platforms (VLOPs) and very large online search engines (VLOSEs) will be required to comply with the provisions of the Digital Services Act (DSA).

The Commissioner noted that VLOPs / VLOSEs will be required to comply with the new rules by no later than 1 September 2023. To meet the deadline the Commission would need to designate VLOPs and VLOSEs by 28 April 2023. Based on this update the current timeline of the DSA application is as on the graphic below.

The DSA entered into force on 16 November 2022 and the provisions described in sections (i)-(iv) below started to apply from that date. The provisions of the DSA will apply to all in-scope service providers by 17 February 2024.

(i) Transparency reporting obligations of online platforms

Online platforms and online search engines have until 17 February 2023 to publish information, in their publicly available online interfaces, on the average monthly active users of their services in the EU. They will be obliged to repeat this exercise at least once every six months thereafter.

(ii) Designation of VLOPs and VLOSEs

The Commission will designate the providers whose numbers meet the threshold set out in the DSA (noted in our previous update) as VLOPs and VLOSEs sometime between 18 February 2023 and 28 April 2023. VLOPs and VLOSEs will then have 4 months after being notified of the designation to comply with the relevant obligations under the DSA.

This means that VLOPs and VLOSEs will have to comply from sometime between 18 June 2023 and 1 September 2023.

(iii) Supervisory fees

The Commission will charge VLOPs and VLOSEs an annual supervisory fee upon their designation for each service for which they have been designated. The amount of the fee will be established by the Commission’s implementing acts and will take into account:

  • estimated costs incurred by the Commission in relation to its supervisory tasks;
  • number of VLOP’s or VLOSE’s average monthly active users in the EU; and
  • maximum limit which is 0,05% of the VLOP’s or VLOPSE’s worldwide annual net income in the preceding financial year.

This implementing act is expected to be published, formally adopted and entered into force by May/June 2023.

(iv) Delegated acts and implementing acts

The Commission can start adopting delegated acts to supplement the DSA by laying down:

  • methodology for calculating the number of average monthly active recipients of the service in the Union;
  • rules for performance of independent audits of VLOPs’ / VLOSEs’ compliance with certain DSA obligations (the entry into force of this act is expected in July 2023);
  • technical conditions under which VLOPs / VLOSEs will share data with researchers and the purposes for which the data may be used; and
  • methodology and procedures for determination of annual supervisory fees;

The Commission may also adopt implementing acts concerning templates of transparency reports and practical arrangements for:

  • functioning of the information sharing system that supports communications between Digital Services Coordinators, the Commission and the Board;
  • inspections in the premises of VLOPs / VLOSEs conducted by the Commission;
  • monitoring the effective implementation and compliance with the DSA of VLOPs / VLOSEs by the Commission;
  • hearings of VLOPs / VLOSEs by the Commission before adopting enforcement decision; and
  • negotiated disclosures of information stored in the Commission’s file to VLOPs / VLOSEs.

For more information on this topic, please contact Andrea Lawler, Partner, Commercial & Technology, Karina Khusainova, Senior Legal Advisor, Commercial & Technology or any member of A&L Goodbody’s Commercial & Technology team.