The UK has set up a watchdog in order to regulate tech giants, Facebook and Google. They hope it will improve transparency on using people’s data and personalized advertising.
The Digital Market’s unit is said to “govern the behaviour of platforms that currently dominate the market, such as Google and Facebook”.
They aim to “ensure consumers and small businesses aren’t disadvantaged”.
Existing laws were not effective and a new regulatory regime was needed to control internet giants who earn from digital advertising. The unit will be created by UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
“Our new, pro-competition regime for digital markets will ensure consumers have choice, and mean smaller firms aren’t pushed out,” said Business Secretary Alok Sharma.
Britain acknowledged that power was being distributed among big online platforms which in turn was curbing the growth and innovation of smaller tech companies.
A recent statutory code will aim to make these big tech companies more transparent about the services they provide and how they are using consumers’ data.”
The government said consumers will be able to choose whether they want to see personalized messages.
It will be introduced in April and may hold the power to “”suspend, block and reverse decisions of tech giants”, and impose fines.
This will mean that online platforms will have to offer fairer terms to new publications.
According to the CMA, last year around 80 percent of the £14 billion ($18.7 billion, 15.7 billion euros) spent on digital advertising went to Google and Facebook instead of media organizations whose content is used.
Newspapers rely on these tech giants for traffic. Around 40% visits to their sites come via Facebook and Google.
Facebook News service in the UK is to be launched soon. It will include original reporting and will work with news media.
Facebook said it remains “committed to working with our UK industry partners to find ways to support journalism and help the long-term sustainability of news organisations”.