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“Digital Regulator Must Have Power To Force Google & Facebook To Pay For News” Says CMA

 |  April 13, 2021

The new digital regulator must have tough legal powers to force tech giants like Google and Facebook to pay news organizations fairly for content, the UK’s competition watchdog stated on Tuesday, April 13.

Daniel Gordon, from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), told peers that a planned code of conduct for online platforms was “necessary” to protect the interests of newspapers, websites and advertisers due to Google and Facebook’s online dominance. 

Facing the Lords’ Communications and Digital Committee in the afternoon, he said that the UK needed a beefed-up version of a code introduced in Australia earlier this year, and could also look at examples from other countries including Germany.

A code of conduct introduced Down Under sparked a furious row as Facebook cut access to websites including MailOnline rather than pay fairly for content. 

It prompted accusations of bullying before the Australian government backed down and softened the law. 

The UK’s new regulator, the Digital Markets Unit, is expected to get legal power to suspend, block, or reverse anti-competitive action by tech giants in a bid to create a level playing field for news publishers and other digital businesses.

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