26 Apr 2023

UK government publishes new Bill that aims to crack down on the anticompetitive behaviour of tech giants in digital markets

ROCC is pleased to welcome the UK’s new Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer (DMCC) Bill. Announced today, the Bill aims to tackle the problems that arise from the position of excessive dominance held by the large tech companies over consumers and businesses in the UK. This includes the anticompetitive behaviour of giant e-commerce platforms that enables them to stifle competition and impose unfair terms on sellers. ROCC’s UK director, Tom Smith, was quoted in the Financial Times on these issues: https://www.ft.com/content/fc56301d-f772-4fc6-afc5-25e86f55fe08.

Among its many provisions, the DMCC will give the new Digital Markets Unit, which sits within the Competition and Markets Authority, the power to label the largest digital companies with the designation of having “strategic market status”.  Once so designated, these companies will each have to abide by tailored conduct requirements that aim to prevent them from using their disproportionate market power to unfairly disadvantage UK businesses and consumers. These conduct requirements are backed up by the power to fine the companies 10% of their global turnover and impose sanctions on named senior managers for failing to comply, and could include a range of obligations such as to provide more choice and transparency to their customers.

ROCC was established to help bridge the gap in resources between the e-commerce platforms and sellers, in part by providing a single voice that can act as a counterweight to the millions of dollars that a company like Amazon is spending annually to influence regulation like the DMCC Bill in their favor. The DMCC Bill has the potential to be an incredibly powerful tool in the fight for a fairer e-commerce environment and we support what it is trying to achieve. We are looking forward to playing a constructive role in its passage through the UK Parliament and making sure that its processes are not watered down.

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