The UK government is no longer expected to include legislation to increase the power of tech regulators in the upcoming Queen’s Speech.
Sources told The Financial Times yesterday that the government’s new legislative programme is not expected to include the previously planned bill. It would have provided additional powers to the tech regulators, the Digital Markets Unit (DMU) within the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
The DMU was established last year within the CMA with the intention of providing a new regulatory regime to devise codes of conduct for the largest tech firms.
The government established the DMU largely due to concerns that companies like Google and Meta could use their unique market dominance against consumers and smaller firms.
The hypothetical powers proposed for the DMU included the ability to impose fines and enforce codes of conduct to promote “greater competition and innovation” in the digital market and protect consumers and companies from unfair business practices.
Queen’s Speech to lack tech regulation boost
In its current form, the DMU has extremely limited authority and is operating on a non-statutory basis until further powers are granted.
The DMU without new legislation does not have the authority to regulate big tech, other than the regulatory powers already within the remit of the CMA.
This legislation was previously expected to be included in the Queen’s Speech this year.
“Our pro-competition regime will change the conduct of the most powerful tech firms and protect the businesses and consumers who rely on them right across the economy,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
The Queen’s Speech, which takes place on 10 May, will outline the government’s programme of legislation for the next year.
Some of the legislation expected to be included this year is a replacement for the Human Rights Act, the privatisation of Channel 4 and anti-money laundering measures against Russia.