Government to introduce Digital Markets Unit legislation

Posted on: April 25, 2023 by Claire Meadows

The government will today introduce overdue legislation giving legal powers to the Digital Markets Unit (DMU), set up in 2021, to provide greater oversight of big technology companies and their market dominance.

The Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill is expected to be introduced later today (Tuesday 25 April 2023) and will give the DMU legal powers to tackle the dominance of big tech companies by, amongst other powers, requiring platforms to negotiate with news publishers over payment for content as well as fining those that do not abide by the rules up to 10 percent of their global turnover. 

The Society of Editors has previously called on the government to expedite legislation to give the DMU the statutory powers it needs to help address the imbalance between news publishers and technology giants.

Responding to the announcement of today’s publication of the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill, Dawn Alford, Executive Director of the Society of Editors said: “We welcome the publication today of long overdue legislation aimed at tackling the dominance of big tech companies and the fundamental imbalance of power between platforms and news publishers.

“While the advent of digital has allowed publishers to reach audiences like never before, the market dominance of online spaces by technology giants has meant that, for too long now, publishers have been prevented from monetising the value of their trusted content online.

“In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the news industry, it is essential that the Digital Markets Unit has the statutory powers that it needs to effect change and we look forward to reviewing the details contained with today’s bill.”

A summary of the aims of today’s bill can be found in an article in The Times today by Michelle Donelan MP, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology. The full draft of the bill can be found here