Big Tech firms are trying to weaken the planned appeals process in legislation to give regulators more power to prevent the major US tech corporations from dominating digital markets, say two anonymous ministers close to the proposals. The measures, set to be published in late April, include allowing the Digital Markets Unit branch of the Competition and Markets Authority to fine a company 10% of its annual turnover for code of conduct infringements. These rules would help to prevent a company with “strategic market status” from distorting markets. Big Tech concerns involve appeals against DMU decisions, which they are only able to make using the judicial review standard, a point of contention as they want to be able to appeal on the “merits” of a decision. The UK’s planned legislation aims to stop the few from dominating digital markets, reducing the chances of lengthy appeals that could allow bigger, more established companies to maintain their market advantages. Ben Greenstone of tech policy consultancy Taso Advisory stated that the bill “would work better if some sort of compromise can be found with the biggest tech companies”.


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