Predictions Event Highlights: Interview with Wassim Chourbaji, Qualcomm

As part of CCS Insight’s Predictions for 2023 and Beyond event last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Wassim Chourbaji, Qualcomm’s Senior Vice President, Government Affairs EMEA.

A central theme of this year’s event was regulation of the tech sector and specifically how Europe’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) stands to significantly change the behaviour of large technology platforms not only in the region but elsewhere too.

In A Regulatory Renaissance, we outlined the drivers of this new regulatory environment, the timeline and structure of regulation in the EU and US, as well as some predictions for what will change as a consequence of the DMA.

The DMA applies to “gatekeepers” that act as gateways between users and business for important digital services. They’re defined as companies with over 45 million active users in the EU and 10,000 annual business users. Market capitalization must be at least €75 billion or annual revenue of over €7.5 billion. The legislation was approved earlier this year; 2023 will see a period of preparation, inevitable challenges and steps to ensure compliance before enforcement by the European Commission begins in March 2024.

Our interview with Wassim — which you can watch below — was a unique opportunity to explore these themes with someone who’s at the centre of discussions about the shape of regulation, its scope, impact and means of enforcement. We delved into the nature of the DMA, the arguments for and against regulation, changes in the digital ecosystem that are likely to arise, possible areas of opposition and the potential for global impact.

Wassim was clear about the need for the DMA regulation, commenting that “as an industry, we should come together to create new ecosystems. Consumers are waiting for us to partner, innovate and fairly distribute value”. He emphasized the importance of interoperability and portability as key changes enabled by the DMA, which will ultimately allow consumers to enjoy better services as well as fostering competition and innovation in the industry.

Despite all the attention on the looming prospect of regulation, there’s relatively little awareness of the impact the DMA is likely to have in the next few years. CCS Insight believes it will pave the way for major change that will end an era of unfettered expansion for the technology industry. The interview is essential viewing for anyone seeking to understand the background and significance of that change. This is a subject we’ll continue to monitor closely and to assess its immediate and future impact.