UK 'Needs' to Tackle Facebook, Google Dominance With New Competition Rules, Government Review Finds

A brand new competition unit with experience in the sector ought to be installed, the independent inspection said, and innovation should be encouraged by giving individuals control over their own data in order that they could change between rival services and platforms easily.

Smaller companies should also have access to this data that social media platforms hold on their own users, it advocated.

Big tech has been criticised by politicians in the USA and in Europe in recent years over issues ranging from Facebook losing track of consumers’ information to the way Google rankings the results of searches.

France, Italy, Britain and Spain also have proposed new digital taxation to narrow loopholes that enable large multinational firms to cut tax bills.

Harvard professor Jason Furman, who chaired the British government inspection, said the digital sector had established substantial advantages but they had come in the cost of the rising dominance of a few businesses.

“My panel is outlining a balanced proposal to give individuals more control over their information, give small companies more of a chance to enter and thrive, and make more predictability for the big digital companies,” he said on Wednesday.

“These recommendations will deliver an economic increase driven by UK tech start-ups and innovation which will give customers greater choice and protection.”

UK finance minister Philip Hammond, that will send a half-yearly upgrade on the budget later on Wednesday, said he would set out authorities steps to ensure digital markets are aggressive later this season.

TechUK, which represents over 900 technology companies which collectively employ 700,000 people, stated the report contained some positive suggestions, but it needed further detail about which any proposed code of behavior for big tech might look like.

It also said there was a complete evaluation of the risks and benefits of opening up information collections.

“Bad regulation can be as big a barrier to competition and innovation as monopolistic actions,” TechUK CEO Julian David stated.

“The UK must remain a welcoming location for digital business from around the Earth, and be certain that the UK competition and wider regulatory framework isn’t in conflict with the other major electronic economies with which we must compete.”

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