The Digital Services Act Is Here – And So Are Its Implications for Small and Medium-sized Companies

2 minute read | March.17.2023

Deutsch: Der Digital Services Act ist da – und mit ihm erhebliche Auswirkungen auf kleine und mittlere Unternehmen

The European Union's Digital Services Act ("DSA"), which has been in force since the end of 2022, affects not only large corporations, but also medium-sized companies and start-ups. Since violations can result in severe penalties such as high fines of up to 6 percent of global turnover, companies should consider its implications starting at this early stage. Orrick's Christian Schröder and Odey Hardan have published an article in the German professional journal "Betriebs-Berater" about the DSA's effects, especially on medium-sized and small businesses.

The article describes the DSA's scope of application, focusing, in particular, on the terms used in the DSA, such as intermediary services, hosting services, online platforms and very large online platforms. The authors further discuss the liability for third party content and how to make sure companies continue to benefit from statutory privileges. What many businesses will be surprised hearing about are the significant obligations imposed on them by the DSA. Among other things, many businesses will have to provide contact points, general terms and conditions, and content moderations. In addition, dark patterns are prohibited and new rules on online advertising are implemented.

This article is particularly worth reading for such businesses that want to get a first impression of the applicability and the most important requirements of the DSA in order to prepare themselves for its full effectiveness.

The article is written in German and can be found as a PDF download here. We have also previously covered the DSA in our other articles on (e.g., here), and other publications, (e.g., this TechREG Chronicle Article), and will further report on the DSA's implementation in the future.