News & Opinion

UK competition watchdog calls time on duopoly’s dominance of digital ad market

NMA supports recommendations and calls for government to take swift action.

The UK’s competition watchdog is calling on the Government to create new powers to regulate the digital advertising market, saying that greater competition  would “improve the quality and accuracy of journalism” writes Charlotte Tobitt for Press Gazette.

The Competition and Markets Authority said the market positions of Google and Facebook are having a “profound impact” on publishers, with newspaper websites receiving almost 40% of all visits to their sites through the two platforms.

Following the publication of the 440-page report earlier today the News Media Association said: “The CMA has acknowledged and responded to many of the concerns of the News Media Association and the industry in this thoughtful report.

“We support the recommendations for a new regulatory regime for the tech platforms, a new code of conduct to govern their behaviour, and the establishment of a Digital Markets Unit to enforce this code. We also note that a full market investigation has not been ruled out if progress is not made.

“We hope that the Government will now act swiftly to implement these recommendations and restore balance to a digital ecosystem which for far too long has left news media publishers unable to realise the true value of their journalism.” 

CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli added: "Through our examination of this market, we have discovered how major online platforms like Google and Facebook operate and how they use digital advertising to fuel their business models.

"What we have found is concerning – if the market power of these firms goes unchecked, people and businesses will lose out.

"People will carry on handing over more of their personal data than necessary, a lack of competition could mean higher prices for goods and services bought online and we could all miss out on the benefits of the next innovative digital platform.

"Our clear recommendation to government is that a new pro-competitive regulatory regime be established to address the concerns we have identified and regulate a sector which is central to all our lives."

You can read the full Press Gazette article here which includes a link to the CMA’s report.

01/07/20

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