CMA advises government on digital markets competition regime

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued updated advice to government on the design and implementation of the UK’s new pro-competition regime for digital markets. 

The CMA believes the dominance of a few major players in the digital market impacts individuals’ data protection rights, which need to be safeguarded to give them greater control over their personal information. 

The CMA says it will continue to work closely with Ofcom, the FCA and the ICO to co-ordinate their approach to the regulatory challenges presented by new digital markets and platforms.

The three key elements of the CMA’s proposed regime for big tech firms with strategic market status (SMS) are:

  • A legally binding code of conduct backed by a range of powers available to a new Digital Markets Unit (DMU) charged with ensuring SMS firms comply with its rules
  • Pro-competitive interventions to address the sources of imbalances in market power, create a level playing field and promote fairness and healthy competition
  • Enhanced merger rules enabling the CMA to subject proposed transactions involving SMS firms and block these until it has had time to properly assess the likelihood of harm to consumers.

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