The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is building a new technology team to strengthen its ability to keep pace with the use of algorithms, artificial intelligence and big data in business. Andrea Coscelli, the CMA’s new chief executive, said the team would be made up of data scientists, computer experts and economists.
A new post of “chief data and technology insights officer” is to be advertised this month. “Some companies have a lot of internal knowledge that we don’t necessarily have,” he said, “and a lot of [technological changes] are happening very fast.”
The CMA needs to strengthen its ability to handle investigations involving technology, he added, particularly if it is to take on “big digital cases” after Brexit that are currently the remit of the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm.
The regulator, which already has a “digital forensics” unit, also wants to improve its own collection and analysis of data for use in its investigations. “If you look at our [case] portfolio now, in many ways we follow the economy and we follow technology,” said Mr Coscelli, who became full-time head of the CMA in July after a year as its acting chief executive.
“Compared to five years ago we do much more work in digital spaces, both on the consumer protection side and the competition side.” That trend would deepen after the UK had left the EU, he said: “Even more of our portfolio will move in that direction.”
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