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UK Ministers Poised to Reject Big Tech’s Bid for Broader Antitrust Rights

 |  October 24, 2023

UK ministers are likely to reject Big Tech’s request for broader appeal rights against decisions made by the country’s antitrust regulator under new digital market rules.

The government intends to utilize the new Digital Markets Unit within the Competition and Market Authority to intensify scrutiny on companies like Alphabet and Meta Platforms, with the aim of reducing their dominance, reported Yahoo News.

The division is anticipated to possess the authority to impose fines on internet firms to protect consumers and potentially enable smaller companies to access data held by larger ones. This could also result in tech companies compensating media outlets for featuring news stories.

As per the current plans, challenges to DMU rulings would be limited to ensuring that the CMA followed the correct procedure when making its decisions. However, tech companies have pushed for the ability to appeal decisions based on the “full merits,” which would include examining the regulator’s assumptions and underlying evidence.

Related: UK MPs Urge Regulator To Curb Big Tech

Nonetheless, ministers are poised to dismiss the tech companies’ demands due to concerns that the proposed changes would disadvantage smaller companies in their competition with larger rivals. Allowing appeals based on full merits could also extend and escalate the judicial process.

“I will consider various perspectives and make an evidence-based decision,” stated Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology, Michelle Donelan, during an interview at the Bloomberg Technology Summit in London. She emphasized that the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill is intended to level the competitive landscape to the benefit of consumers and innovation.

The bill is presently under parliamentary review and will continue into the new session, commencing with the King’s Speech on November 7. The final wording on the appeals process has not yet been determined, but an announcement is expected in the next two months.

Source: News Yahoo