The UK government has announced plans to introduce a new law that will give it greater power over big tech companies such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook. The new legislation aims to tackle the power these companies wield in digital markets, which can stifle competition. It will also provide better protection for consumers by making it easier for them to opt out of online subscriptions and tackling fake reviews.
Greater Power for the Competition and Markets Authority
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) set up a Digital Markets Unit two years ago to regulate new markets such as social media. However, it has lacked the legal authority to enforce its remit. The new bill will give the DMU greater power over tech companies with a global turnover of more than $31.2 billion or a British turnover above GBP 1 billion. If passed, the DMU will be able to tailor rules for tech companies to prevent them from unfairly disadvantaging smaller businesses and consumers. If these companies breach the rules, they could face fines of up to 10% of their global turnover.
Protecting Consumers and Ensuring Digital Markets Work for the British Economy
CMA Chief Executive, Sarah Cardell, believes that the new legislation has the potential to be a “watershed moment” in protecting consumers and ensuring digital markets work for the British economy. The bill will enable the CMA to provide more choice and transparency to customers as well as promoting competition. Digital markets offer many benefits, but only if competition enables businesses of all shapes and sizes the opportunity to succeed. The new legal framework is fit for the digital age and will ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of digital innovation.
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