CMA’s Andrea Coscelli Threatens Action Against Google & Facebook

The head of the UK’s competition regulator has told the government to set up a digital regulator within a year, or his agency will take action against Facebook and Google, reported The Financial Times.

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), told the Financial Times he was preparing to mount investigations into the two internet giants if the government did not act fast enough to curb their powers. 

In his clearest statement of intent yet, Mr Coscelli said the watchdog would give the government a year to come up with a regulatory regime for big tech, including a new digital regulator, or he would take action.

The statement comes after the watchdog attracted criticism for backing away from launching market investigations or antitrust cases into Facebook and Google at the end of a year-long study into the online ad sector in July despite uncovering serious issues.  

The CMA stated that the dominance of Google and Facebook and the nature of the search and online advertising markets gave them an “unassailable incumbency advantage” that needed to be tackled with new laws.