The CMA's latest proposals regarding competition on digital platform markets

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In July 2019, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its Digital Markets Strategy and launched a market study into online platforms and digital advertising. The CMA has now published its final report on the market study, which recommends the introduction of a new "pro-competition" regulatory regime to govern the behaviour of online platforms funded by digital advertising, including:

  1. a code of conduct to govern the behaviour of platforms with market power;
  2. rules to give consumers greater control over their data; and
  3. interventions to address concerns relating to any market power (including data access remedies, measures to increase interoperability and structural interventions).

The CMA has also now formally launched the Digital Markets Taskforce (Taskforce). The Taskforce has been established to help promote competition in digital platform markets. It comprises officials from the CMA, Ofcom and the Information Commissioner's Office.

The Taskforce will consider the CMA's market study report and is expected to look at whether additional powers are necessary for the UK authorities to promote competition effectively in digital platform markets.

The Taskforce has launched a call for information, seeking comments from a wide range of stakeholders to inform its work in advising the UK government on a "new pro-competition approach for digital markets". It has published app store and online marketplace questionnaires for businesses which sell or distribute their products and services using UK online marketplaces or app stores. This call for information closes on 31 July 2020.

The CMA's announcements follow the recent launch of the European Commission's public consultation on the need for a possible new EU competition tool to address evolving structural competition issues in areas such as digital markets. The initial impact assessment and public consultation are available here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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