Digital Markets Act - What is it?

Imogen Collins
March 4, 2024
Digital Markets Act - What is it?

The new Digital Markets Act (DMA) that will take effect on March 6th.

What is it?

The Digital Markets Act is a new EU law which gives the responsibility of checking for positive cookie consent to Google, Meta, Microsoft, Bytedance and Amazon as 'Gatekeepers'.

Does it apply out of the EU?

The UK is in the process of implementing a similar bill which will align UK and EU law called Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill. Google has advised us that you still do need to implement Consent Mode v2 even if you only trade in the UK. 

What does this mean for Google?

Google’s EU user consent policy already requires advertisers to acquire user consent. In addition, Google will now require advertisers to send affirmative consent signals. This new version of Consent Mode (Consent Mode v.2) will be required to preserve audience targeting functionalities from when the DMA starts being enforced on March 6, 2024. 

Google has been very clear and all forms of measurement on both Google Ads and GA4 will be stopped if this is not implemented on your website.

I have a Consent Management Platform - what do I need to do?

Here is a list of Google-certified CMPs. Being certified means that they have been reviewed against certification criteria showing that they can correctly support Google’s Additional Consent specification.

If you are working with one of these CMPs, please reach out to them for support with ensuring that your site is compliant, and confirm to us when this has been implemented. 

I do not have a Consent Management Platform - what do I need to do?

We recommend that you start to work with a CMP from the list above, but you can also implement the new code yourself. 

There are 2 types of consent mode: Basic consent mode blocks Google tags until consent is granted, whereas Advanced Consent mode will load the Google tags before the consent dialogue and then send cookieless pings if consent is not granted. Both types of consent mode use data modelling, but basic consent mode does not model sessions and using it will result in a drop in session data. 

The three steps Google advise taking if you want to implement consent mode yourself on your website are:

  1. Obtain User Consent (by setting up a consent banner)
  2. Send user choice to Google (by setting up consent mode)
  3. Ensure Google tags comply with consent choice 

What about Meta, Microsoft and Bytedance?

Microsoft Ads (i.e. Bing) has qualified for an exemption from the ruling as a challenger in the market on a relatively small scale according to Reuters

Some Helpful Links from Google: 

Additional Documentation:

Help Center Article; Blog Post; Legal Help Center Article; IAB TCF v2 Google Ads Help Center; Processor/Controller Status; Conversion Modeling Blog Post; Conversion Modeling Help Center Article; Google Analytics data privacy Blog Post.

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