UK government has announce new proposals to promote competition in the country’s digital economy which could force tech giants like Apple to relinquish control of the digital marketplaces to make them more competitive. Under the new proposal, the UK government has given more power to ‘Digital Markets Unit’ (DMU) to ensure the ‘Strategic Market Status’ (SMS) companies follow the new rules “acceptable behaviour with competitors” and fine violators.
In UK and other parts of the world, Apple is facing strong criticism for its control of the App Store, the only distribution channel for apps on iPhone and iPad. Big developers like Spotify, and Epic Games and other regulatory bodies have filed lawsuits against Cupertino tech giant accusing it of stifling competition by gatekeeping which apps are allowed on iPhones and iPads. Recently, United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority announced the intent to launch a 12-month probe of the mobile ecosystems of Apple and Google over allegations that the two companies exercise an anticompetive duopoly that harms users and competition.
To create a competitive digital economy, UK’s new Digital Markets Unit could force Apple to allow sideloading on iOS
To ensure that British startups and scaleups have a fair chance to compete against tech giants like Apple and Google, the UK government is taking steps for the betterment of the public and to promote growth and innovation across digital economy by expanding the role of DMU as a monitoring and regulaotry authority.
- New powers proposed for watchdog to suspend, block and reverse decisions by tech giants, and issue fines of up to 10% of turnover for serious breaches
- Watchdog to boost UK startup scene by creating level playing field
The government also mentions that it can give Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) more powers to “scrutinise and intervene in harmful mergers involving firms with ‘Strategic Market Status’, for example by requiring these big tech firms to report on their takeovers.” The governement plans to legislate the new proposed powers of DMU as soon as the parliamentary time allows. Read the complete proposal here.
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“So we will be giving our new Digital Markets Unit the powers it needs to champion competition and drive growth and innovation, with tough fines to make sure the biggest tech firms play by the rules.”