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Introduction

On March 13, 2019, the UK Digital Competition Expert Panel released its independent report on the state of competition in digital markets in the country. It includes proposals to boost competition and innovation to benefit consumers and businesses by strengthening regulators' existing powers to tackle illegal anticompetitive practices, for example, by simplifying the process for prosecuting breaches.

Highlights

  • The panel's review found that tech giants have become increasingly dominant because they do not face enough competition in the market, and it suggested creating a new markets unit to set and enforce rules. Digital markets will only work efficiently if they are supported by strong pro-competition policies that create opportunities for innovation and counter the pressures that can lead to high concentration and a single market champion.

Features and Benefits

  • Assesses the panel's proposed set of pro-competition and antitrust enforcement measures.
  • Identifies the main functions of the new digital markets unit.

Key questions answered

  • How does the expert panel hope to strengthen existing regulators' powers to tackle illegal anticompetitive practices?
  • What updates to the rules governing mergers has the expert panel recommended to stop digital mergers that are likely to damage future competition?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • Tech giants do not face enough competition in the UK market
  • The panel is recommending establishing a digital markets unit to introduce pro-competition measures
  • The rules governing merger and antitrust enforcement need to be updated
  • Regulators should monitor the evolving use of machine learning algorithms and initiate a study into the digital advertising market

Appendix

  • Further reading
  • Author

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