UK Government demands fair play for all and will target large tech firms

High tech firms under scrutiny

High tech firms under scrutiny Credit: CC

UK Government demands fair play for all and will target large tech firms who take advantage of consumers as well as small businesses.

Although no implementation date has been confirmed, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) confirmed on May 6 that it planned to launch a new digital watchdog with statutory powers.

The Digital Markets Unit (DMU) will be created in order to enforce pro-competition rules and rebalance the relationship tech giants have with consumers and businesses so they are better protected from unfair practices.

Plans will be turned into reality as fines up to 10 per cent of global turnover will be implemented for breaches and senior tech bosses will face tough penalties if firms fail to comply with the rules

The DCMS says that the majority of UK companies now rely on powerful tech firms to ensure customers find their business online.

International firms control key online gateways for millions of internet users and give preference to their own apps and browsers. They are also able to set their own prices for the online services they provide businesses without challenge, which can be passed on to consumers.

The impact of weakened competition is stark – the Competition and Markets Authority estimates that Google and Facebook made excess UK profits of £2.4 billion in 2018 alone – harming consumers through higher prices.

The proposals aim to make it easier for people to switch between Apple iOS and Android phones or between social media accounts without losing their data and messages.

Smartphone users could get more choice of which search engines they have access to, more choice of social media platforms as new entrants enter the market and more control over how their data is used by companies.

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