The Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill will put in place a new regulatory regime in the UK for the Big Tech firms. It seeks to level the playing field so that competition can flourish in the tech sector, including e-commerce. The legislation is going through Parliament and the Public Bill Committee invited leading experts to give evidence in formal hearings.
London-based ROCC team member, Tom Smith, appeared before the committee on 15 June 2023. He highlighted Amazon’s rising fees for sellers on its platform. He discussed the design of the new regime and the drafting of the Bill, including issues around the amount of discretion being given to the new regulator, called the Digital Markets Unit (DMU), and the pros and cons of the different proposed appeal standards. He discussed with the Members of Parliament how the UK compares with other jurisdictions around the world and how it would protect investment and innovation in the British economy.
The UK is an important jurisdiction for ROCC because the DMU will have the power to write bespoke conduct requirements for Amazon, and many other countries are watching it closely. However, apart from ROCC, there is no organized campaign that is pushing for Amazon to be included in the new regime, so there is a risk that the DMU focuses only on other companies such as Apple and Google in the first few years. Sellers and brands who support the ROCC’s mission should join up so that they are stronger together.
The hearings were televised and available on the Parliament’s website.