How does the new UK ex ante regime for big tech compare with the EU Digital Markets Act? 10 May 23 Javier Huerta Bravo

The UK government presented on 25 April 2023 a new draft ex ante regime for big tech companies. The government considers that “the unprecedented market power, in relation to certain digital activities, of a small number of businesses, is holding back innovation and growth.”

The rules are part of the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers (DMCC) Bill, which also contains provisions on competition and consumer protection. Now the bill needs to be approved by parliament. 

Cullen International's analysis looks into the main aspects of the new ex ante regime for big tech companies in the UK, and how it would compare with the EU Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Key differences include:

  • The UK regime could target fewer players than the EU one, as an annual turnover threshold of £25bn (€28.31bn) worldwide, or £1bn (€1.13bn) in the UK, would have to be met in all cases.
  • The UK regime would be more flexible as, while the DMA contains a closed list of digital services and obligations, the bill would allow the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to identify digital services and impose bespoke conduct requirements on companies with strategic market status (SMS). Additional requirements could be imposed through “pro-competition interventions”.
  • Contrary to the EU Digital Markets Act, the UK regime would allow SMS companies to justify their practices by invoking countervailing benefits.

For more information and access to the full analysis, please click on “Access the full content” - or on “Request Access”, in case you are not subscribed to our European Digital Economy service.


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