UK Law Will Let Regulators Fine Big Tech Without Court Approval

| Updated on May 29, 2024
uk dmcc law

UK lawmakers have decided to get serious about keeping the digital market fair and square, and they’ve just passed this major piece of legislation called the Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumer Bill (or DMCC for short).

According to this law, if tech giants like Apple and Google don’t play by the new rules, they could face massive fines. We’re talking up to 10% of their global revenue! The regulators can do all this without dragging them through the courts. 

But the DMCC isn’t just about slapping fines. It’s also about protecting us, the consumers. No more fake reviews trying to trick us, clearer subscription contracts, and no more sneaky hidden fees. Plus, it’s going to regulate how tickets are sold on secondary markets. And if these big companies want to merge, they’ll have to report it to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Who exactly needs to follow these rules?

 Only the big players with what they call Strategic Market Status (SMS). These are the companies that have a huge influence on the market. To be classified as SMS, they need to have a global revenue of over £25 billion or a UK revenue of over £1 billion. 

The CMA gets the power to call out companies for breaking the rules, make them fix it, and fine them if they don’t—all without needing to go to court. This is a big deal because it means things can get done faster.

If this all sounds like deja vu, it’s because the European Union has something similar called the Digital Markets Act (DMA). But the UK’s version, the DMCC, is a bit more tailored to fit each company’s situation.

Some companies, like Spotify and Epic Games, have been cheering from the sidelines. They’ve been wanting this kind of government intervention to tackle issues like Apple’s hefty app store fees. Spotify’s CEO even called out Apple, saying they’ve been trying to dodge these kinds of regulations for ages and it’s high time they’re held accountable in the UK.

And let’s not forget, Apple’s already under the microscope in the EU over DMA compliance.

Charu Thakur