UK To Impose Rules Next Year To Limit Power Of Google, Facebook - Cabinet

UK to Impose Rules Next Year to Limit Power of Google, Facebook - Cabinet

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 27th November, 2020) The United Kingdom will create a Digital Markets Unit next year to enforce a new code of conduct for tech giants such as Google and Facebook to ensure a level playing field in the market and more protection for consumers, the government said on Friday.

"A dedicated Digital Markets Unit will be set up to introduce and enforce a new code to govern the behaviour of platforms that currently dominate the market, such as Google and Facebook," the press release said.

According to the cabinet, the new code of conduct will ensure that consumers have more control over how their data is used and small businesses will have more opportunities to promote their products online. It will also "rebalance the relationship" between publishers and online platforms in the news publishing industry, so that "news outlets are not forced out by their bigger rivals."

The antitrust unit will be set up within the Competition and Markets Authority and work in cooperation with telecom regulator Ofcom and the Information Commissioner's Office.

"The new unit, which will begin work in April, could be given powers to suspend, block and reverse decisions of tech giants, order them to take certain actions to achieve compliance with the code, and impose financial penalties for non-compliance," the cabinet added.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma noted that while digital platforms like Google and Facebook significantly contribute to the economy and "play a massive role in our day-to-day lives," the "dominance of just a few big tech companies is leading to less innovation, higher advertising prices and less choice and control for consumers."

The new pro-competition code, he continued, will "ensure consumers have choice, and mean smaller firms aren't pushed out."

According to the UK cabinet, the digital sector contributed almost 150 billion Pounds ($200 billion) to the national economy in 2018.