UK Government to Create Digital Markets Unit to Curb Facebook and Google Dominance

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by Ibukun Ogundare · 3 min read
UK Government to Create Digital Markets Unit to Curb Facebook and Google Dominance
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Starting from 2021, a new antitrust unit by the UK government will launch a code to curb Google and Facebook dominance in the market. Moreover, technology companies will be required to be more transparent with the services they offer.

The UK government is planning to implement stricter competition rules to curb Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) and Google LLC (NASDAQ: GOOGL) from dominating the tech market. The British government hopes to use the new rule to prevent the tech giants from overriding smaller startups. The new antitrust unit will begin operation in 2021.

According to a CNBC report, the UK government will create a Digital Markets Unit (DMU), a part of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). As per the report, the DMU will enforce a “new code to govern the behavior of platforms that currently dominate the market, such as Google and Facebook.”

Britain Plans to Curb Facebook and Google Dominance with Stricter Rules

CMA noted that Google and Facebook are dominating digital advertising In the UK and other countries. In 2019, the tech giants accounted for 80% of the 14 billion pounds spent on ads. Now, the new code will address certain concerns in the technology space. The code will enable consumers to have a choice over personalized advertising. Also, customers will not be restricted from using rival platforms. 

In addition, technology companies will be required to be more transparent with the services they offer. The tech firms may also be needed to provide details on consumer data to the regulator.

Furthermore, the DMU will have the authority to order tech giants to comply with the code or face financial consequences. The UK government also said the new unit would also have power over technology companies’ decisions. They may decide to suspend or block any decision that the companies make. 

In a statement, Digital secretary Oliver Dowden acknowledged the positive impact of digital platforms. He said the platforms are transforming the economy with businesses, consumers and the society at large benefiting from their positive impacts. However, he added:

“But there is growing consensus in the UK and abroad that the concentration of power among a small number of tech companies is curtailing growth of the sector, reducing innovation and having negative impacts on the people and businesses that rely on them. It’s time to address that and unleash a new age of tech growth.”

Two Tech Giants Dominates Digital Advertising

Before now, the CMA had called on the government to approve the creation of the DMU. At the time, the CMA expressed concerns with the use of digital advertising by Google and Facebook. 

On the 1st of July, the CMA revealed that they had examined the markets and discovered that businesses may be affected by the increasing use of Digital advertising by the tech giants. 

Currently, FB is at $ 278.18 at pre-market trading. The trading price is a 0.94% increase over Facebook’s previous close of $275.59. FB has gained 36.43% over the last twelve months and over 34% since the beginning of 2020.

On the other hand, the stock of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc is currently up 0.45% to $1,772.

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Ibukun Ogundare

Ibukun is a crypto/finance writer interested in passing relevant information, using non-complex words to reach all kinds of audience. Apart from writing, she likes to see movies, cook, and explore restaurants in the city of Lagos, where she resides.

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