From the moment they are founded, startups have giant ambitions to disrupt, challenge and grow. They need laws that are designed with them in mind. The EU’s draft Digital Services Act and draft Digital Markets Act have passed through the legislative layers at lightening speed.
And there is lot in the proposals that startups will welcome, particularly the focus on harmonising rules and creating a more competitive level-playing field.
But challengers will always be concerned about the risk of unintended consequences and if they could end up struggling to comply with rules which Big Tech finds easy to bat away.
Startups are also concerned that the EU’s definition of gatekeeper could end up penalising them for scaling – as well as restrict M&A deals. This is particularly concerning as exit by M&A critically underpins the startup ecosystem by being one of its most effective recyclers of talent and capital.