Stowell Calls For DMU Legislation To Avoid Further Harm To Consumers and Businesses

The legislation to give the Digital Markets Unit the teeth it needs to correct imbalances in the digital marketplace must be brought forward urgently to avoid further harm to consumers and businesses, the chair of the Lords Communications and Digital Committee has said.

In a letter to the Culture Secretary, Baroness Stowell warned that further delay could lead to the UK being left behind and having to follow the lead of other jurisdictions, compromising on its own objectives for a fairer digital marketplace.  

Baroness Stowell said: “We welcome the Government’s important progress in setting up the Digital Markets Unit and developing a world-leading pro-competition framework. This would deliver a fair deal for UK firms and consumers, and tackle unfair practices by some big tech companies.

“It is disappointing that the necessary legislation has not been introduced and we do not understand why departmental resources have been targeted at other areas which are less time-pressing and less impactful.

“The harm to consumers and businesses is mounting and, as other jurisdictions develop their own legislation ahead of us, notably the European Union, the UK risks having to compromise its regime by following terms which are less preferable,”

“We recommend that you prioritise this legislation as a matter of urgency.”

In the United States, the News Media Alliance has welcomed an important landmark in its campaign to level the playing field between tech platforms and news publishers as the Senate Judiciary Committee completed its markup of the bipartisan Journalism Competition and Preservation Act.

The JCPA would allow local news publishers to come together to collectively negotiate with Google and Facebook for fair compensation for use of their content.

“Today’s markup and vote was a major step towards getting small and local news publishers the fair compensation they deserve for their content,” said News Media Alliance president and chief executive David Chavern.