CMA ‘Actively Considering’ Looking At Digital Advertising Market

The Competition and Markets Authority is “actively considering” looking into the digital advertising market which is an area in which it is “interested in getting involved.”

Giving evidence to the Lords Communications Committee during its ‘The internet: to regulate or not to regulate?’ session, CMA chief executive Dr Andrea Coscelli said that one of his key concerns with the digital advertising market was the “potential gaps in the regulation.”

Dr Andrea Coscelli said: “A month ago, this Committee asked us to look at digital advertising. That is something we are actively considering, subject to Brexit in the next few weeks, because it has a big resource implication for us.

“It is certainly something where we are interested in getting involved. If we did, we would work closely with Ofcom and give serious thought to the regulatory framework in that context.”

The News Media Association has been calling for a competition inquiry into the dominance of the tech companies and the role of intermediaries in the digital advertising supply chain and their impact on consumers, advertisers and other media players.

Asked by Baroness Quin if there was a regular mechanism through which the CMA could make its views known on the issue to Government Dr Coscelli replied: “On a matter such as this, we have discussions with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, DCMS and obviously Ofcom.

“For us, the extent to which this becomes public is usually linked more to a specific piece of work where we explicitly talk to stakeholders and publish something, so launching a market study would be the outcome.”

Dr Coscelli confirmed that he would keep the Committee informed as the CMA’s considerations of the digital advertising market progressed.