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Jane Imrie

New UK watchdog to boost online market competition

A new watchdog has been launched with government support in a bid to increase competition in online markets.

The Digital Markets Unit (DMU), based in the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), will oversee plans to help give consumers more choice and control over their data.

The unit will also aim to promote online competition as well as crack down on unfair practices.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden commented: “Today is a major milestone in the path to creating the world’s most competitive online markets, with consumers, entrepreneurs and content publishers at their heart.

“The Digital Markets Unit has launched and I’ve asked it to begin by looking at the relationships between platforms and content providers, and platforms and digital advertisers.

“This will pave the way for the development of new digital services and lower prices, give consumers more choice and control over their data, and support our news industry, which is vital to freedom of expression and our democratic values.”

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), added: People shopping on the internet and sharing information online should be able to enjoy the choice, secure data and fair prices that come with a dynamic and competitive industry.

“Today is another step towards creating a level playing field in digital markets. The DMU will be a world-leading hub of expertise in this area and when given the powers it needs, I am confident it will play a key role in helping innovation thrive and securing better outcomes for customers.”

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