Government Response to the CMA’s market study into online platforms and digital advertising

The Government has responded to the CMA’s market study into online platforms and digital advertising as part of their ongoing commitment to take pro-competition measures to unlock market power and “protect businesses and users, boost innovation and drive economic growth”. 

The Government has responded to the CMA’s market study into online platforms and digital advertising as part of their ongoing commitment to take pro-competition measures to unlock market power and “protect businesses and users, boost innovation and drive economic growth”. 

In its response the Government announced that a new ‘Digital Markets Unit’ (DMU) will be set up in the CMA to introduce, maintain and enforce a code of conduct for companies who obtain ‘strategic market status’. From April 2021, the DMU will “build on the work of the Taskforce and begin to operationalise the key elements of the regime” with legislation to be introduced to put the DMU on a statutory footing as soon as parliamentary time allows. 

The announcement follows the recent Digital Competition Expert Panel, chaired by Jason Furman which proposed a new regime for digital platform markets. The Government accepted the Furman Review’s six strategy recommendations, including the establishment of a new Digital Markets Unit, earlier this year.  

techUK firmly believes open competition and an informed regulator are vital to securing a fair and well-functioning market economy. Today’s announcement from DCMS sets out at a high-level how the new competition framework will function but does not include detail on key elements. techUK will continue to engage with the Taskforce, CMA and Government around the design of critical elements and functioning of the new regime, including the definition of strategic market status and its application in other digital markets.   

techUK is also engaging with Government more broadly on the upcoming digital strategy which will set out an overarching approach to regulating digital technology, to ensure there is continued coordination as well as clarity, consistency and predictability in the new regime. 

For more information on the Government’s announcement and proposed Digital Markets Unit, please contact [email protected].  

Lulu Freemont

Lulu Freemont

Policy Manager, Digital Regulation, techUK