CMA issues advice for Government on regulatory regime for tech giants

Timothy CowenPartner, Preiskel & Co LLP

On 1 July 2020, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) published its Final Report in its Online Platforms and Digital Advertising market study. The Final Report can be found on the case page.

In the Final Report, the CMA made a series of recommendations to Government, including that it set up a specific regulatory regime to address dominance in digital markets, the Digital Markets Unit, with special powers.

On 27 November 2020, the Government responded, broadly indicating that it would follow the CMA’s recommendations. The Government’s response can be found here.

On 8 December 2020, therefore the CMA published its advice to government on the regulatory regime, which sets out three key areas for the regime to bite:

  • a legally binding code of conduct, tailored to each firm deemed to have strategic market status;
  • powers to make pro-competitive interventions; and
  • enhanced merger review rules, allowing closer scrutiny of transactions involving such firms.

The recommendations are that the regime be bolstered by considerable enforcement powers, including the ability to fine an undertaking up to 10% of global turnover.

The CMA’s advice can be found here.

Please contact Tim Cowen if you have any questions regarding the proposals for the new regime.

Contributing Advisors

Stephen HornsbySenior Consultant, Preiskel & Co LLP