30 November 2020
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What you need to know about the UK’s new tech regulator

Every week, Maddyness curates articles from other outlets on a topic that is driving the headlines. This Monday, we look at the UK's Digital Markets Unit and what it plans to do to tackle Big Tech's market monopoly and protect small businesses and media outlets.

New competition regime for tech giants to give consumers more choice and control over their data, and ensure businesses are fairly treated

A new statutory code of conduct will mean consumers will be given more choice and control over how their data is used, and small businesses will be able to better promote their products online. The code will support the sustainability of the news publishing industry, helping to rebalance the relationship between publishers and online platforms. Read the full government press release. 

Powerful tech giants have trampled on UK businesses for long enough

This week, we became one of the first countries in the world to announce that we would be setting up a new pro-competition regime for tech giants like Facebook and Google, overseen by a dedicated Digital Markets Unit. That unit will enforce a code of conduct to govern the behaviour of dominant online platforms, put in place measures to boost competition, and help protect users against unfair or exploitative practices.

At the moment, tech giants can impose terms on news publishers that limit their ability to monetise their content – severely impacting their ability to thrive. Our code will make sure publishers get a fair deal from the platforms on which they rely, so that we can support the sustainability of one of the world’s strongest news publishing sectors. Read the full article by Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, in The Telegraph

Digital Markets Unit: what powers will new UK tech regulator have?

The government has unveiled its first tentative steps towards the regulation of digital monopolies, following an investigation by the competition watchdog into the digital advertising industry. A new body, the Digital Markets Unit, will be established to lead the effort. But what it will do, what powers it will have, and who it will cover, are still unclear. Read the full article via The Guardian

Breakingviews – UK mimics Big Tech in quest to reduce its clout

Britain’s new Digital Markets Unit has a distinctively Silicon Valley vibe. A sweeping mandate and the ability to act with tech-like speed raises the risk it will emulate Facebook’s old “move fast and break things” mantra. Still, it’s an upgrade on the ponderous, court-based approaches usually followed by Europe and the United States. Read the full article via Reuters

Peers make case for freelance pay reform and BBC News aggregator to help UK journalism ‘survive and thrive’

The most attention-grabbing proposal from the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee’s Future of Journalism report, published on Friday, was the call for urgency to create a Digital Markets Unit to rein in the dominance and power of platforms such as Google and Facebook. The Government in fact simultaneously announced the creation of the new competition regime on Friday morning in its response to the Competition and Markets Authority’s market study into digital advertising and online platforms.

Peers carrying out the Future of Journalism inquiry, chaired by Lord Gilbert, said:

“Publishers need platforms far more than the platforms need them; and publishers are disadvantaged by a dysfunctional online advertising market.”

Read the full article via Press Gazette