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CMA to announce plans to limit power of tech giants in UK

Fri 27 November 2020 10:05 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - The Competition and Markets Authority is set to announce plans to limit the power of Google, Facebook and other tech giants to allow space for competition for smaller businesses.

The plans come after the government accepted on Friday, in principle, the findings of the CMA's year-long study, committing to introducing a new pro-competition regulatory regime to tackle the market power of tech giants like Google and Facebook.

Britain's competition watchdog will gain a dedicated Digital Markets Unit, empowered to write and enforce a new code of practice on technology companies.

This unit will be responsible for setting out the correct behaviour for tech businesses that are deemed to have "strategic market status".

Alongside today's announcement, the UK government announced in its Spending Review on 25 November that the CMA will receive additional budget to take on new responsibilities, including establishing the Digital Markets Unit from 1 April 2021.

The business secretary, Alok Sharma, said: "Digital platforms like Google and Facebook make a significant contribution to our economy and play a massive role in our day-to-day lives - whether it's helping us stay in touch with our loved ones, share creative content or access the latest news.

"But the dominance of just a few big tech companies is leading to less innovation, higher advertising prices and less choice and control for consumers. Our new, pro-competition regime for digital markets will ensure consumers have choice, and mean smaller firms aren't pushed out."

Andrea Coscelli, the chief executive of the CMA, welcomed the move. "Only through a new pro-competition regulatory regime can we tackle the market power of tech giants like Facebook and Google and ensure that businesses and consumers are protected.

"We will soon be providing advice to the government on how this new regime should work, as requested earlier this year, and stand ready to support the setup of the Digital Markets Unit."

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