People urged to have their say on whether competition in the digital market is being is stifled by powerful tech giants.
An independent panel of experts – led by former Obama advisor Professor Jason Furman – (12 October 2018) launches a call for evidence as they look at competition in the digital sector.
The UK is at the forefront of the technological revolution and ministers want to ensure that everyone benefits from this. Competitive markets mean that companies offer consumers more choice, better value for money, and higher-quality products and services.
Experts, businesses, and the general public can have their say on:
- the pros and cons for consumers of the current market set-up, where a small number of companies dominate digital markets
- whether their accumulation of people’s data is holding back new companies that could offer people innovative products and services
- how we can further strengthen our rules to boost competition and give consumers more choice and quality in services they access online
- how we can make sure people continue to benefit from new products and services by enhancing innovation in digital markets.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said:
We will ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the technological revolution as we build an economy fit for the future and equip people with the skills they need to succeed in it.
But there are concerns that the big players could be accumulating too much power in our new digital world. Therefore we must ensure we have the right regulations so that our digital markets are competitive and consumers are protected.
I would urge people to have their say, and look forward to receiving the panel’s recommendations.
Chair of the independent review, Professor Jason Furman, said:
We want to hear from people of all ages, businesses of all sizes, and experts from all fields, to help inform our review so we can ensure all parts of society benefit from the technologies of the future.
Digital markets have produced significant consumer benefits and we are focusing on how to ensure that remains the case, while fostering competition and boosting the economy.
The review is investigating the UK’s competition regime in the context of the digital economy. It is examining how this affects consumers, and the impact of competition policy on the UK’s growth, productivity, wages and labour markets.
The panel started its work in September and will publish in early 2019 a final report of recommendations. Over the course of the review, the panel is meeting with a wide range of academics, businesses and representative groups.