A new pro-competition regime for Digital Markets

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written statement – made on 20th July 2021.

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Photo of Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Following the announcement of my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy today, I would like to further update the House on the consultation on “A New Pro-Competition Regime for Digital Markets”.

The consultation sets out our proposals for a new pro-competition regime for digital markets which will tackle the unique sources of market power in fast-moving digital markets. The new regime will drive a more vibrant and innovative economy, across the UK.

The proposals include new rules that will ensure consumers and businesses are treated fairly and will help to level the playing field so that new and innovative tech firms can flourish. Alongside these rules, new measures will be put in place to tackle the sources of market power, injecting much needed competition into digital markets and spurring growth and innovation across the economy.

The new regime will be overseen by the Digital Markets Unit that will proactively shape the behaviour of the most powerful tech firms and protect those who rely on them. The Digital Markets Unit will be given robust powers to enforce the regime and the most powerful tech firms will face tough new fines if they do not comply.

The consultation builds on the Furman Review, which highlighted the specific characteristics which make some digital markets susceptible to competition issues and made the case for a more targeted and forward-leaning regime to address these competition issues. It also draws on advice from the Digital Markets Taskforce on the design and implementation of the regime.

This consultation invites views from businesses, civil society, think tanks, academics, public authorities, and the devolved administrations to ensure our new approach works for the UK economy and supports growth and productivity in markets in every part of the country.