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UK Watchdog Unveils Plans to Rein in Big Tech Giants with New Data Access Rules

 |  January 11, 2024

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has revealed plans to grant rivals of major tech companies, including Meta (Facebook), Alphabet (Google), Amazon, and Apple, greater access to data while imposing restrictions on self-promotion.

The announcement came on Thursday, as the regulator outlined its intentions to exercise new powers bestowed upon it by the government.

The CMA, which has recently intensified its oversight of prominent players in the tech industry, has been increasingly assertive in addressing anti-competitive practices. Last year, it intervened in Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, signaling its commitment to ensuring fair competition. More recently, the CMA raised concerns about the deal between the tech giant and OpenAI, the developer of ChatGPT, reported Reuters.

Under the proposed digital markets competition regime, tech companies with significant market share, such as Meta, Alphabet, Amazon, and Apple, will face new restrictions. These measures include providing competitors with increased access to data, limiting self-promotion, and fostering an environment that encourages innovation among challenger firms.

Sarah Cardell, the head of the CMA, is expected to elaborate on these measures at a Silicon Valley conference. In a statement released by the CMA, Cardell emphasized the need to support tech challenger firms in bringing forth disruptive innovations that would benefit consumers. The digital markets competition regime aims to create an environment where new players can introduce exciting products and services to the market.

Related: UK To Create New Regulator To Tackle Big Tech

“The new digital markets competition regime will help ensure that tech challenger firms can bring forward genuinely disruptive and exciting new innovations that will create great new products for consumers,” said Cardell. “Today’s overview document not only provides clarity for UK parliamentarians but also for digital firms and wider stakeholders about the approach the CMA intends to take.”

The CMA’s proactive approach to regulating digital markets has been in motion for more than two years, with the establishment of a dedicated Digital Markets Unit. Equipped with the expertise to navigate rapidly evolving sectors such as social media, this unit will play a crucial role in enforcing the new rules.

Companies designated with significant status will be required to comply with the forthcoming regulations, marking a pivotal moment in the evolving landscape of tech competition in the United Kingdom.

Source: Reuters