UK Watchdog Pushes Back Digital Markets Crackdown

The British government said on Friday it plans to bring forward legislation to implement reforms on competition in digital markets when parliamentary time allows, next year. 

Among other proposals, the government said it would introduce new requirements for firms with ‘Strategic Market Status’ (SMS) in digital markets to report merger transactions to the competition watchdog, the CMA, before the deal goes through.

According to the government, the digital markets unit within the CMA will have to conclude that a firm has substantial market power in at least one activity to designate it with the Strategic Market Status.

The UK government has pulled apart from other jurisdictions, including Europe and the United States, in its approach to regulating the growing digital market sector. The creation of the Digital Markets Unit, specifically dedicated to studying and developing the policies that will apply to the tech sector, was announced back in 2020, highlighting the seriousness with which British authorities are taking tech regulation.

Read More: Regulating the Digital Economy – Why Privacy and Competition Authorities Should Talk to Each Other

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