The UK launched a stringent new regulator on Wednesday that said it will help ensure that technology giants such as Facebook and Google cannot use their market dominance to squeeze out competition and stifle online innovation.
The Digital Markets Department (DMU) of the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will oversee plans to provide consumers with more choices and control over their data, to promote online competition and to combat unfair practices, which usually give companies and Consumers have fewer choices left, and goods and services are more expensive.
The British government stated that it has asked new regulators to start studying how codes of conduct can effectively manage the relationship between digital platforms and groups in practice, such as small businesses that rely on them to promote or use their services to attract customers.
British Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Today is an important milestone in establishing the world’s most competitive online market, with consumers, entrepreneurs and content publishers at the core.”
“The digital market department has been launched, and I have asked it to first study the relationship between the platform and content providers and between the platform and digital advertisers. This will pave the way for the development of new digital services and lower prices, providing consumers with More opportunities to choose and control its data and support our journalism are essential to freedom of speech and our democratic values.”
The minister has asked DMU to work with the country’s communications regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), to specifically study how the code manages the relationship between the platform and content providers such as news publishers, including ensuring that they are fair and just. As reasonable as possible.
This will pave the way for future rules of the road and go in parallel with the broader work that the government is doing.
British Secretary of Commerce Kwasi Kwarteng said: “This is an important step towards improving consumer choice and providing better services at lower prices.
“The UK has established an enviable reputation as a global technology hub, and we hope that this reputation will continue. However, I am well aware that the system must be fair to our small businesses, new entrepreneurs and the wider British public. Our new, shameless competition mechanism will help curb the domination of tech giants, set off a wave of innovation across the market, and ensure that smaller companies are not eliminated.”
The government recognizes that online platforms can bring huge benefits to businesses and society, make work easier and faster, and help people stay connected.
However, a consensus has been reached that the “concentration of power in a few companies” is inhibiting growth and has a negative impact on consumers and businesses that rely on them.
In November 2020, the British government announced DMU’s plan to implement a new competition promotion system to cover platforms with considerable market power-known as a strategic market position.
This new department launched its first work plan today. It was launched in a “shadow” non-statutory form, and then the legislation gave it full powers.
CMA CEO Andrea Coscelli said: “People shopping on the Internet and sharing information online should be able to enjoy the choices brought about by a vibrant and competitive industry, secure data and reasonable prices.
“Today is another step towards creating a level playing field in the digital market. DMU will become the world’s leading center of expertise in this field. As long as it has the required capabilities, I believe it will help innovation flourish and ensure Play a key role in providing customers with better results.”
The government stated that it will conduct consultations on the design of a new competition system this year and enact legislation to place DMU in statutory status as soon as possible with the permission of the parliament.
The department will work closely with the CMA law enforcement team, which has taken action to address the practices of digital companies, which would harm competition and bring undesirable results to consumers and businesses.
This includes taking enforcement actions against Google and Apple, as well as reviewing mergers involving Facebook and eBay.
In addition, the government also released an overview of the functions and roles of the new department in the first year of operation.
It involves working with companies, governments and academia to gather the necessary evidence, knowledge and expertise so that once a new pre-competitive regulatory system is formulated, it can begin operations as soon as possible.
The government statement said that as countries around the world work to solve these problems, the department will coordinate with international partners, so the UK remains a global leader in leading the debate in this area.
The United Kingdom is already discussing its digital competition methods with international partners through bilateral contacts and as part of the rotating presidency of the Group of Seven.
The Digital Secretary will host a meeting of digital and technology ministers in April to seek consensus on better information sharing and coordination of regulatory and policy approaches.
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