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New UK pro-competition digital markets regime confirmed by Government

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12 May 2022

The UK Government has set out its plans for a new “pro-competition regime” for digital markets, stamping out recent rumours that the new rules had been shelved.

Under the regime, the Digital Markets Unit (DMU) will be responsible for designating firms with “Strategic Market Status” (SMS) and developing tailored, binding conduct requirements for each of those SMS firms. The DMU will also be able to undertake “pro-competitive interventions”, with a broad discretion to implement a wide range of remedies including ownership separation. Its functions will be backed up with tough enforcement powers.

Despite the Government’s clear intention to adopt a new regime, there is uncertainty over exactly when it will come into force. Following the Queen’s speech, draft legislation is expected to be drawn up in the coming year, but enactment of the rules will likely take longer.

Read our alert for commentary on the key aspects of the new rules.

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