A PYMNTS Company

UK Passes Digital Markets, Competition Bill to Curb Big Tech

 |  May 27, 2024

The United Kingdom has enacted its own version of the Digital Markets Act, named the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill. This new framework aims to counter the competitive power of large international tech companies, thereby fostering a more favorable environment for national tech enterprises.

The UK’s legislation mirrors the objectives of the European Digital Markets Act (DMA) but diverges in its implementation strategy. While the EU’s DMA imposes a uniform set of rules on designated “gatekeepers”—companies that hold substantial market power—the UK approach customizes regulations for each specific company. This tailored methodology, though potentially more time-consuming, is designed to enhance free trade, broaden consumer choices, and increase market transparency.

A feature of the UK bill noted by its proponents is its streamlined enforcement mechanism, which empowers the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to issue fines directly, eliminating the need for prior court approval. These penalties can reach up to 10 percent of a company’s global turnover, significantly raising the stakes for non-compliance.

Read more: The EU Digital Markets Act (DMA): A Competition Hand In A Regulatory Glove

Despite the comprehensive framework, the specific companies that will be subject to these new regulations have not yet been identified. This pending determination adds an element of uncertainty but underscores the UK’s commitment to meticulous, case-by-case scrutiny.

Both the UK and the EU’s legislative efforts reflect a broader trend of Western nations striving to rebalance the competitive landscape, which is currently skewed in favor of dominant U.S. and Chinese tech giants. By implementing these rules, the UK hopes to stimulate growth and competitiveness among its own tech firms, providing them with a more level playing field in the global market.

As these regulations come into effect, their impact on the tech industry will be closely watched, both within the UK and internationally. The effectiveness of these measures could set a precedent for other nations grappling with their own digital markets legislation.

Source: Techzine