UK competition regulator to study tech giants' market dominance

UK competition regulator to study tech giants' market dominance
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The British government is launching a study of internet giants’ dominance in areas like digital advertising, a move that could potentially lead to tougher restrictions for companies like Facebook and Google.

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said Wednesday that the probe is aimed at shedding light on opaque internet business models.

“Much about these fast-changing markets is a closed book to most people,” CMA Chairman Andrew Tyrie said in a statement. “The work we do will open them up to greater scrutiny, and should give Parliament and the public a better grip on what global online platforms are doing.”

The study will focus on three areas: competition between internet platforms, how they collect and use data from consumers, and competition for digital ad revenue.

The regulator also invited public comment on the issues to be submitted by July 30.

The move comes as other European countries and the EU are scrutinizing internet giants over their market dominance and handling of user data.

“The market study will examine concerns about how online platforms are using people’s personal data, including whether making this data available to advertisers in return for payment is producing good outcomes for consumers,” the CMA said in its announcement. “The CMA will examine whether people have the skills, knowledge and control over how information about them is collected and used, so they can decide whether or not to share it in the first place.”

The agency said it would publish a final report by July 2, 2020.