The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said the company is going to produce a Digital Markets Unit (DMU) to enforce “a new code to govern the behaviour of platforms that currently dominate the market, such as Google and Facebook.”
The Secretary of State for Business, Alok Sharma, said: “Digital platforms like Google and Facebook make a significant contribution to our economy and play a massive role in our day-to-day lives – whether it’s helping us stay in touch with our loved ones, share creative content or access the latest news.”
“But the dominance of just a few big tech companies is leading to less innovation, higher advertising prices and less choice and control for consumers. Our new, pro-competition regime for digital markets will ensure consumers have choice, and mean smaller firms aren’t pushed out.”
The code is created to assure that consumers, small businesses, and news publishers aren’t disadvantaged by actions taken by Google and Facebook, the government noted.
The government’s plans come after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) earlier announced the start of an investigation seeking to analyze the digital advertising industry, but the approach was eventually broadened to also cover Google and Facebook’s operations.
The DMU will be part of the CMA and is expected to start its operations in April 2021.
“Only through a new pro-competition regulatory regime can we tackle the market power of tech giants like Facebook and Google and ensure that businesses and consumers are protected,” the chief executive of the CMA, Andrea Coscelli said on Friday as quoted by the Guardian.
“We will soon be providing advice to government on how this new regime should work, as requested earlier this year, and stand ready to support the setup of the Digital Markets Unit.”
Earlier in July, the CMA called on the UK government to provide the company more powers to set up the DMU due to concerns about how Google and Facebook use digital advertising and consumer data.