UK media organisations unite to tackle power imbalance of tech platforms

Written by on 31 March 2022

UK media organisations unite to ‘tackle power imbalance’ of tech platforms

British media organisations have joined together to urge the Prime Minister to “tackle the imbalance of power” between media providers and tech platforms which “threatens to deprive the public of trusted news”.

The BBC, Channel 4 and ITN were among those who signed a letter to Boris Johnson stressing the “vital urgency” of bringing forward “critical legislation” to provide the Digital Markets Unit (DMU) with “necessary statutory powers”.

The DMU will oversee new regulation for the most powerful digital firms, promoting greater competition and protecting consumers and businesses from unfair practices, according to the Government website.

The UK media coalition letter said: “By moving quickly and including the legislation in the Queen’s Speech in May, you will not only take the first step towards ensuring a healthy future for independent media, but you will position the UK as a world leader in tackling the imbalance of power between media providers and the tech platforms which threatens to deprive the public of the trusted news and information they require.

“We welcome the efforts of government to date on this vital issue, but our sectors cannot afford any further delay to this critical legislation.”

The letter comes as the “first anniversary” of the DMU in shadow form approaches in April, which saw it form within the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

It added: “Under your Government, the UK has played a leading role in identifying the harm caused to many businesses and consumers by the dominance of a small number of large tech platforms in the digital economy.

“The UK has also led on the solution to begin tackling these harms, with the creation of the Digital Market Unit (DMU).

“We believe the DMU can tackle the root causes of large platforms’ market power, rebalancing the relationship between platforms and creators of trusted and much-loved content.

“This will be critical in ensuring the sustainability of the UK’s vibrant media sector, ensuring fair value and treatment for creators of content, and ultimately benefitting audiences.”

The UK media sector coalition also includes News Media Association, Radiocentre, and Publishers Association.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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