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12 May 2023

Here at last – new laws proposed on digital markets, competition powers and consumer rights

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We are pleased to share with you our briefing on the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill ("DMCCB") that was proposed to the UK Parliament on 25 April 2023 and is expected to enter into force in 2024. This proposes substantial amendments to the UK's competition regime and consumer protection laws. 

The DMCCB will:

  • Provide statutory powers for the new Digital Markets Unit ("DMU"), sitting within the Competition & Markets Authority ("CMA"), which will oversee a new regulatory regime for digital firms with strategic market status ("SMS"). The intention of this new regulatory regime is to promote greater competition and innovation in digital markets, whereby SMS firms will be subject to tailored codes of conduct and bespoke merger control rules. The DMU will also have powers to make pro-competitive market interventions to address the root causes of SMS firms' market dominance;
  • Introduce considerable reforms to the UK's broader competition regime, including significant changes to the UK's merger control thresholds and the CMA's market inquiry and investigative powers. The latter include the ability to impose significant penalties on undertakings and individuals for any failure to comply with investigatory measures or for providing false or misleading information; and 
  • Bolster the applicable consumer protection laws, for instance by tackling subscription traps and enhancing protections for savings scheme participants, as well as providing greater flexibility for the UK Government to introduce future provisions to protect consumers and businesses against other unfair practices (such as fake reviews).

Taken together, the new legislation is designed to boost competition, enable swifter enforcement and reform the consumer protection landscape.

Click here to read more.

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