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UK creates DMU to regulate Big Tech

May 6, 2022

Big Tech companies such as Google, Apple and Facebook-owner Meta will have to abide by new competition rules laid out by the UK government – or risk facing huge fines.

The new Digital Markets Unit (DMU) regulator will be given powers to clamp down on “predatory practices” of some firms. The DMU will also have the power to fine companies up to 10 per cent of their global turnover if they fail to comply.

Besides boosting competition among tech firms, the rules also aim to give users more control over their data.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) added that tech firms could face additional penalties of 5 per cent of daily global turnover for each day an offence continues.

“Senior managers will face civil penalties if their firms fail to engage properly with requests for information,” the government said.

It is unclear when exactly the changes will come into force, but the government has said the necessary legislation will be introduced “in due course”.

Digital minister Chris Philp said the government wanted to “level the playing field” in the technology industry, in which a few American companies have been accused of abusing their market dominance. “The dominance of a few tech giants is crowding out competition and stifling innovation,” he added.

The UK government said the new rules could increase the “bargaining power” of national and regional newspapers.

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