UK Introduces New Digital Watchdog to Enforce Tougher Rules on Big Tech

    Photo: AFP/Getty [via The Guardian]

    The Facts

    • The UK outlined on Fri. the scope of powers assigned to its Digital Markets Unit, a new regulator set up last year to control the influence of big tech companies like Google and Facebook.

    • The digital watchdog will enforce rules aimed at giving consumers more choices online and protecting small businesses. Tech companies that don't comply will face fines of up to 10% of their annual global revenue.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    This is a milestone for online market regulation and it's promising to see the UK empowering the watchdog to implement the new rules. It comes at a time when many countries, especially in Europe, are trying to figure out the best ways to control the potentially damaging influence of big tech on consumers and small businesses. The UK is leading the way with action.

    Narrative B

    The Digital Markets Unit is a nice idea but the UK government is implementing it all wrong. One of the argued benefits of Brexit is the ability to be more agile with regulatory implementation - so why, then, is the UK dragging its feet on this? Without the proper legislation, the watchdog will only be able to watch, lacking the power to reshape digital markets.

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