Facebook & Google Will Be Regulated

Britain’s competition regulator has told the UK government to put digital regulations in place to limit the market dominance of Facebook and Google, otherwise his agency will take action against them.

As reported in the Financial Times, the Chief Executive of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), says that his organisation will be furher  investigating Google and Facebook if the UK with a view to restricting their powers.

The CMA said the dominance of Google and Facebook within the online advertising markets gave them an “unassailable incumbency advantage” that require new laws.

The regulator has previously been criticised for not doing a market investigation into Facebook and Google at the end of a year-long study into the online ad sector when a number of serious issues were discovered. Recently, the CMA said it would wait until its Digital Markets Taskforce, a group tasked with advising the government, had finished its current work.  

The head of the CMA, Andrea Coscelli, said his agency was considering multiple market investigation references, intensive investigations that enable the watchdog to intervene directly in markets and he was discussing potential antitrust cases against the Internet giants, which could be run in parallel with the EU. “Essentially, we found problems with Facebook on social media, Google on search and Google on ad tech, so there are three possible market investigation references.” he told reporters.

In its  2020 report the CMA said the issues it had uncovered were “so wide ranging and self-reinforcing that our existing powers are not sufficient to address them”.

Mr Coscelli’s statements come as regulators in Brussels are drawing up criteria that would mean up to 20 companies, including Facebook and Google, would be hit by extensive new aimed at trimming their market power. France and the Netherlands also want EU authorities to take swift action against emerging technology companies. 

The UK has been discussing for some time the possibility of imposing new taxes on tech giants like Google and Facebook unless they do more to combat online extremism by taking down material aimed at radicalising people or helping them to prepare attacks. Japan will join forces with the US and EU to take on any market abuses by 'Big Tech' companies, the head of its antitrust watchdog has said - a sign Tokyo will join global efforts to regulate digital platform operators.

GovUK:        Financial Times:          Tech Investor News:      Telegraph:        VentureBeat:         NDTV:        CNBC:

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