UK Government To Create Code Of Conduct For Facebook, Google, Others Dominating Markets

The United Kingdom on Friday introduced a dedicated Digital Markets Unit (DMA) within the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to introduce and enforce a new code to govern platforms that dominate the market, such as Google and Facebook.

The DMA and CMA will work closely with regulators like Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office to introduce and enforce a new code to govern the behavior of platforms dominating the market, such as Google and Facebook.

The goal is to give all a fair chance at competition. The companies will need to give consumers more choice over their data, help small businesses thrive, and ensure that news outlets are not forced out by their bigger rivals.

Under the new code, platforms could be required to increase transparency about the services provided and how they use consumers’ data, give consumers a choice over whether to receive personalized advertising -- and prevented from placing restrictions on their customers that make it hard for them to use rival platforms.



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

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,” stated UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma. “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 proposals could also help give small businesses fair access to platform services including digital advertising, allowing them to grow the online presence of their business. They are also intended to ensure that platforms are not applying unfair terms, conditions or policies to certain business customers, including news publishers.

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