A digital watchdog must be brought into law urgently to prevent mounting harm to UK firms and consumers, a Lords committee has warned.
Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan has been urged to make the Digital Markets Unit – set up to rein in so-called Big Tech online firms – a priority.
The DMU was devised to tackle the dominance of Big Tech in sectors such as digital advertising, which poses a threat to quality journalism, and ensure web giants pay a fair price to news publishers for content.
Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan (pictured) has been urged to make the Digital Markets Unit – set up to rein in so-called Big Tech online firms – a priority
The Lords communications and digital committee said Britain had fallen behind the EU in regulating Big Tech. Chairman Baroness Stowell told Miss Donelan: ‘It is disappointing that the necessary legislation has not been introduced. We recommend that you prioritise this as a matter of urgency.’
In May, the Government revealed its draft Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill to empower the DMU. But the unit is likely to remain toothless until at least next year. During the Tory leadership race, Liz Truss committed to prioritising approval for the draft Bill this autumn.
In the meantime, the EU has introduced its own pro-competition framework called the Digital Markets Act. This is set to be published this Autumn and come into force by Spring 2023.
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