CMA digital markets strategy to ‘protect consumers’ in the digital age

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The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced the introduction of CMA digital markets strategy to “protect consumers” in the digital age.

The move builds on the recent package of reforms unveiled earlier this year on behalf of the CMA by Chairman Andrew Tyrie, which aims to make the UK competition regime fit for the digital age.

Scrutiny of online platforms

The watchdog says the strategy aims to address recommendations made by the Furman Report for greater regulation of digital markets.

The CMA intends to respond to the Furman Report feedback by launching a market study into online platforms.

It will examine the major online platforms such as Facebook and Google, which are funded by digital advertising. The market study will analyse concerns about how online platforms are using people’s personal data, including whether making this data available to advertisers in return for payment is producing good outcomes for consumers.

The CMA will consider concerns about the market power of certain sites and examine whether the control they have over people’s data is making it harder for rivals to compete for business, to the detriment of consumers.

If the CMA finds evidence that there are problems as part of this, it could make detailed recommendations to government which build on the broad proposals from the Furman Report.

Most of the UK population use the internet, with 97% of internet users accessing search engines to look for things online, and around 70% of UK adults having a social media account.

While people enjoy many of these sites for free, revenue from digital advertising provides one of the main ways in which online firms can provide their services without charge.

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