Britain announced its plan to introduce a new law that will limit the power of major tech companies like Google [GOOG:US], Facebook [FB:US], and Amazon [AMZN:US] to suppress competition in digital markets, as reported by Reuters on April 24. This legislation aims to protect consumers by making it easier for them to opt out of online subscriptions and address fake reviews. The country’s antitrust regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority, has lacked the legal authority to regulate new markets like social media until now. Once passed by Parliament, the bill will grant the regulator new powers over tech companies with a global turnover of over GBP25bn (USD31.2bn) or a British turnover above GBP1bn. The regulator will tailor rules for these companies to prevent them from unfairly disadvantaging smaller businesses and consumers. Companies that breach these rules could be fined up to 10% of their global turnover.
The proposed law will cover a range of digital services, including online marketplaces, search engines, social media platforms, and messaging services, and the Digital Markets Unit (DMU) will have the power to enforce a code of conduct for tech companies with “strategic market status.” The code will require companies to be transparent about how they use consumer data and provide fair access to their services to other businesses.