On 26 November 2020, the Government announced a new competition regime for tech giants, in a bid to give consumers more choice and control over their data and ensure that businesses are fairly treated.
The Government will:
- Set up a dedicated Digital Markets Unit to introduce and enforce a new code, to govern the behaviour of platforms that currently dominate the market, such as Google and Facebook. It will begin work in April.
- The unit could be given powers to suspend, block and reverse decisions of tech giants, order them to take certain actions to achieve compliance with the code, and impose financial penalties for non-compliance.
- The unit will be set up within the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which will work closely with regulators including Ofcom and the ICO to introduce and enforce a new code.
- A new statutory code of conduct will mean consumers will be given more choice and control over how their data is used, and small businesses will be able to better promote their products online.
- The code will support the sustainability of the news publishing industry, helping to rebalance the relationship between publishers and online platforms.
- The new code will set clear expectations for platforms that have considerable market power (or strategic market status) over what represents acceptable behaviour when interacting with competitors and users.
- Under the new code, platforms including those funded by digital advertising could be required to be more transparent about the services they provide and how they are using consumers’ data, give consumers a choice over whether to receive personalised advertising, and prevented from placing restrictions on their customers that make it hard for them to use rival platforms.
More information on this can be found here.