The government announced the setting up of this unit in November 2020 to enforce a new pro-competition regime, which would cover platforms having sizeable market power, or strategic market status.
Based inside the Competition and Markets Authority, DMU’s first job will be to create new codes of conduct for these multinational digital platforms, which includes their relationship with advertisers and content providers.
The UK Digital Secretary has asked DMU to collaborate with communications regulator Ofcom to delve into the details of how a code would impact the connection between content providers and platforms, adding that it be created in all reasonable fairness.
Most of the world’s digital advertising revenue is being controlled by Google, Facebook and Amazon.
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “The Digital Markets Unit has launched and I’ve asked it to begin by looking at the relationships between platforms and content providers, and platforms and digital advertisers. This will pave the way for the development of new digital services and lower prices, give consumers more choice and control over their data, and support our news industry, which is vital to freedom of expression and our democratic values.”
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK has built an enviable reputation as a global tech hub and we want that to continue – but I’m clear that the system needs to be fair for our smaller businesses, new entrepreneurs and the wider British public. Our new, unashamedly pro-competition regime will help to curb the dominance of tech giants, unleash a wave of innovation throughout the market and ensure smaller firms aren’t pushed out.”
Competition Markets Authority chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: “People shopping on the internet and sharing information online should be able to enjoy the choice, secure data and fair prices that come with a dynamic and competitive industry.”
However, new regulator DMU will have to wait for legal enforcement of such codes before taking any action.