CMA hosts first two-day digital summit of G7 competition leaders

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will welcome G7 heads of authorities and guests to its London headquarters today for the agenda setting event. The G7 Digital Competition Officials Summit will strengthen relationships between international competition authorities and seek to increase collaboration on issues related to competition in digital markets.

The Summit provides a unique opportunity for international agencies to discuss various issues, including emerging issues such as large digital platforms, app stores, online marketplaces, digital advertising, mobile ecosystems, cloud computing and algorithms. It also offers participants the opportunity to examine areas of potential collaboration and reflect on how best to use their skills, knowledge and resources to meet the challenges of digital markets.

These discussions come at a crossroads, with the need to address the challenges of digital markets and big technologies being one of the most important issues facing governments and competition authorities around the world.

The summit and related work has emerged from the UK Presidency of the G7, with the CMA tasked with using its status as a leading competition authority to convene international partners. The aim is to find coherent and complementary ways to encourage competition and support innovation. It builds on a previous collaboration between CMA and its international counterparts.

This will be the first time that the G7 competition officials (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, USA, with the EU) will meet specifically to discuss these issues with officials from the regulatory authorities. competition from G7 guest countries (Australia, India, South Africa, South Korea).

In order to reflect some of the work accomplished by the G7 competition authorities, they will jointly publish a collection today. The paper describes the work of each authority to resolve competition concerns in digital markets and highlights common approaches and tactics.

These include:

  • initiate investigations and studies, or initiate coercive action;
  • develop teams of specialists made up of technical experts;
  • consider or introduce legislative reforms to strengthen enforcement tools or introduce new regulatory regimes;
  • and ensuring regulatory cooperation at the national and international levels.

The compendium will inform future cooperation and coordination, including through existing international competition forums, and provide a resource for governments and other decision-makers.

Andrea Coscelli, Director General of the CMA, said:

Tech companies are at the heart of many very important services for consumers and businesses, so it is crucial that they can continue to thrive. Yet today too much market power is concentrated in the hands of too few companies. Whether it’s in online shopping, web searches, or social media, companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook are exerting an unprecedented level of influence on our lives.

These global challenges require a coordinated global response, which is why this Summit is so vital.

As leaders of the G7 competition authorities, we recognize that joint action between international jurisdictions is necessary to ensure that the dominance of big tech does not harm people and businesses wherever they live.

Today is an important step towards increased collaboration that will enable lasting positive change in digital markets around the world.

The CMA is one of the world’s leading authorities taking action to address competition concerns in digital markets. He created the Digital Markets Unit (DMU) to give consumers more choice and control over their data, as well as to promote online competition and crack down on unfair practices. The DMU was launched in fictitious form in April and the government recently consulted on the introduction of legislation that will give it the powers to oversee a new regulatory regime for the most powerful digital companies, fostering greater competition and innovation.

The CMA is also part of the Digital Regulation Co-operation Forum (DRCF), alongside the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, Ofcom and the Financial Conduct Authority. The DRCF was formed in July 2020, building on the strong working relationships between these organizations, to ensure a greater level of cooperation and address the unique challenges posed by the regulation of online platforms.

The DRCF is launching today a new work program to discover the challenges of digital regulation. On the sidelines of the Summit, the members of the DRCF are participating today in a round table organized by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) at the Future Tech Forum, to discuss this program. As part of the upcoming work program, stakeholders in the digital sector are encouraged to raise any concerns with us.

The AMC is conducting a number of ongoing investigations into digital market issues. These include investigating the “privacy sandbox” of Google, the use of advertising data by Facebook, the Apple AppStore, as well as market research on mobile ecosystems. Using its merger investigative powers, it is also investigating Facebook’s (now Meta Platforms) acquisition of Giphy, after tentatively finding that the deal raised competition concerns.

Notes to Editors

  1. In April 2021, the G7 Digital Enforcers summit was announced in the ministerial declaration of the G7 Digital and Technology Track.
  2. The G7 and its guests will publish a compendium of approaches to improve competition in digital markets on Monday, November 29, 2021.
  3. Actors in the digital sector who wish to get in touch with the DRCF work program can do so via [email protected]

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