UK consumers could be at risk from the “predatory” behavior of Big Tech companies if the government continues to delay new laws.
UK consumers could be at risk from the “predatory” behavior of Big Tech companies if the government continues to delay new laws intended to curb their power, according to a new lawmaker report.
The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee urged the government to push through the Digital Markets Bill, according to a report published Tuesday. The new law would help boost the powers of the Competition and Markets Authority and its new unit that polices tech firms.
The CMA is toughening its stance on tech dominance post-Brexit with the newly set up Digital Markets Unit, that’ll be able to enforce a code of conduct and potentially suspend, block and reverse decisions made by companies like Alphabet Inc. and Meta Inc. The new rules could hike the maximum potential fines to 10% of their global revenue.
But the DMU has been in limbo since it was trailed in this year’s Queen’s Speech, meaning it can currently only operate in shadow form as it awaits formal legislative powers from the government. The European Union stormed ahead with its similar landmark new legislation, the Digital Markets Act, despite the UK at one point being ahead with its plans.
“The Competition, Consumer and Digital Markets Bill has wide support and should be prioritized, especially given the difficulty the government currently has at passing other laws which are more controversial,” Darren Jones, BEIS committee chair, said. “This bill is an essential stepping stone to driving this issue forward.”
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority also said Tuesday that it’s looking at the potential antitrust benefits or pitfalls from the world’s biggest tech companies entry into the country’s retail financial services sectors.
Silicon Valley firms could cause harm to consumers if they rapidly gain market share in the financial sector and are able to exploit this, the Financial Conduct Authority said in a statement.