NEWS7 April 2021

New UK tech regulator launches

GDPR News Privacy Technology UK

UK – The UK government’s Digital Markets Unit (DMU) has started work today as part of plans to increase competition online and give the public more control over their data.


The DMU, which is based in the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), was announced last year as a way to enforce a new pro-competition regime to cover online platforms, such as Google and Facebook, and prevent a further concentration of power among a small number of major firms.

The government has asked the DMU to look into a code of conduct for the relationship between digital platforms and organisations that rely on them to advertise or use their services to reach customers.

For its work on the code, the DMU will collaborate with Ofcom to look at how it would govern the relationships between platforms and content providers, such as news publishers.

The government has also today published an outline of the DMU’s function and role for its first year of operation, including working alongside business, government and academia to compile the necessary evidence, knowledge and expertise for a pro-competition regulatory regime.

The DMU will be led by Will Hayter, who previously worked at the Cabinet Office supporting the UK’s departure from the EU.

Oliver Dowden, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, said: “Today is a major milestone in the path to creating the world’s most competitive online markets, with consumers, entrepreneurs and content publishers at their heart.

“This will pave the way for the development of new digital services and lower prices, give consumers more choice and control over their data, and support our news industry, which is vital to freedom of expression and our democratic values.”

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “People shopping on the internet and sharing information online should be able to enjoy the choice, secure data and fair prices that come with a dynamic and competitive industry.

“Today is another step towards creating a level playing field in digital markets. The government will consult on the design of the new pro-competition regime this year and legislate to put the DMU on a statutory footing as soon as parliamentary time allows.”