DMR News

Advancing Digital Conversations

UK Adopts its Own Version of EU Digital Markets Act

ByHuey Yee Ong

May 27, 2024
UK Adopts its Own Version of EU Digital Markets Act Ahead of General Election

UK Adopts its Own Version of EU Digital Markets Act

The UK Parliament has passed the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers (DMCC) Bill, which serves as the national counterpart to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The bill was fast-tracked through the legislative process as Parliament prepares to dissolve on May 30, before the scheduled general election in July. The DMCC aims to enforce regulations and enhance competition in the UK’s digital markets and is poised to take effect later this year following Royal Assent.

About the DMCC Bill

The DMCC Bill aligns closely with the EU’s DMA, which has notably categorized several major tech companies as “gatekeepers,” subjecting them to stricter regulations. Under the DMCC, the Digital Markets Unit (DMU), part of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), is empowered to designate firms that demonstrate “substantial and entrenched market power” and hold “a position of strategic significance” with Strategic Market Status (SMS).

Firms holding SMS will need to comply with specific codes of conduct that emphasize fairness, openness, trust, and transparency. These codes will be crafted by the DMU, which holds broad discretion in defining appropriate conduct standards for each company.

Violations of these codes could lead to severe financial penalties, with fines reaching up to 10 percent of a company’s global revenue. Among the speculated new requirements for SMS-designated companies are obligations for giants like Meta and Google to compensate UK news publishers for using their content on platforms like Google News, and potentially affecting how AI products leverage such content.

Additionally, there may be new rules forcing Apple to allow sideloading and third-party app stores on iOS, akin to regulations already imposed in the EU. These companies might also be prohibited from unfairly prioritizing their products and services in search results.

Broader Impacts of the DMCC Bill

Moreover, the DMCC extends beyond the tech industry to address consumer issues more broadly. It targets deceptive practices like junk fees and fake reviews, and will impact subscription services, ticket resales, mergers, antitrust enforcement, and general consumer protection. Notably, for the first time, the CMA will have the authority to directly impose hefty fines on companies found to have breached consumer protection laws without the necessity of court proceedings.

The immediate effects of the DMCC are already becoming visible, as evidenced by Epic Games’ announcement to launch its store and Fortnite on iOS in the UK by the latter half of 2025. This decision mirrors Epic Games’ commitment to bring the Epic Games Store to mobile platforms in the EU after the implementation of the DMA.

Related News:

Featured Image courtesy of Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *