English

Government unveils proposals to increase competition in UK digital economy

UK
Subscribe to Google News

LONDON:Proposals have been set out for a new pro-competition regime for digital markets that will support the UK’s growing tech sector and protect consumers.

The Digital Markets Unit (DMU) will be given the power to designate tech firms that hold substantial and entrenched market power with ‘Strategic Market Status’ (SMS). This will require them to follow new rules of acceptable behaviour with competitors and customers in a move that will benefit the public and drive growth and innovation across the economy.

The DMU, launched in non-statutory form within the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in April, will work alongside firms to inject stronger competition into the digital tech sector resulting in more innovation and fairer terms for UK businesses, including startups, news publishers and advertisers. It will bring better consumer choice and control, making it easier for people to take their business elsewhere.

The proposed new powers are expected to help British startups and scaleups to compete more fairly against those tech giants that have powerful positions in the market.

The consultation seeks views on the objectives and powers of the DMU and details a new mandatory code of conduct, which will set out what is expected of firms for fair trading, open choices and trust and transparency. This could include tech platforms not pushing their customers into using default or mandatory associated services, or ensuring third party companies that depend on them aren’t blocked from doing business with competitors.

The code will be underpinned by robust investigation and enforcement powers. These may include imposing fines of a maximum of 10 per cent of a firm’s turnover for the most serious breaches.

The DMU could also be given powers to suspend, block and reverse code-breaching behaviour by tech giants - for instance unfair changes in their algorithms or T&Cs - and order them to take specific actions to comply with the code.

As well as tackling poor behaviour by these firms, the consultation will also consider whether the DMU will be able to impose a set of measures to tackle the root causes of competition issues in digital markets.

This could see the DMU implementing measures to support interoperability - making it easier for digital platforms and services to be compatible with each other and for customers to switch between them. For example it could require platforms to allow the public to share contacts from one platform to another.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:The UK’s tech scene is thriving but we need to make sure British firms have a level playing field with the tech giants, and that the public gets the best services at fair prices.

So we will be giving our new Digital Markets Unit the powers it needs to champion competition and drive growth and innovation, with tough fines to make sure the biggest tech firms play by the rules.

 

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:Tech has transformed our lives for the better, whether it’s helping us to stay in touch with our loved ones, share content, or access the latest news.

Nobody wants to see an unassailable monopoly and our common sense reforms will help protect consumers, support ground-breaking new ideas and level the playing field for businesses.

Related Articles

Opinion Poll

Who is your favourite actor?




Advertisement

Newsletter

Advertisement

Weather
Trending

12th round of India-China military talks to take place soon

News
Three more PSG players positive for corona virus, six overall. Lionel Messi staying at Barcelona to avoid court fight. Japan Braces For Powerful Typhoon Haishen, Possible Record Rainfall. Third India-US 2 plus 2 Ministerial Dialogue underway in New Delhi. NSA Ajit Doval holds meeting with US Secretary of State & US Secretary of Defence in New Delhi. US Secretaries of State and Defence of USA call on PM Modi. Gadkari lays Foundation Stones of 9 NH projects in Tripura. NTPC Ltd. enters into foreign currency loan agreement with Japanese Government’s financial institution for JPY 50 billion under GREEN initiative. Senior US official tests positive for COVID-19 after Europe trip: media. UK  coronavirus death toll surpass 61,000. Cyprus and Lithuania removed from the travel corridor list of exempt countries. Iranian ambassador summoned regarding Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. Prime Minister announces new national 4-week lockdown. Japan's COVID-19 cases top 150,000. Brazen armed bank heist in Brazil leaves cash scattered on road. COVID-19 could see over 200 million more pushed into extreme poverty, new UN development report finds. Farm laws are for the benefit of farmers; Opposition misleading farmers. CORONA VACCINE. J&K: Weatherman predicts moderate snowfall across Kashmir from Monday. Farmers’ To Continue Stir Till Farm Laws Completely Repealed,Doubts Raised Over SC Panel.