On Tuesday 19 September, the House of Lords approved the Online Safety Bill (the OSB). This marks the end of the OSB’s passage through the legislative process, and after six years of heated debate, it is now set to become law.
On September 18, 2023, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) published an initial report on AI foundation models (“FMs”).
On 4 September, the Department for Business and Trade launched a consultation on proposals designed to improve the quality and accessibility of information for consumers making purchases. The background to the consultation is: (i) the government’s review of the Price Marking Order 2004 (PMO), which implemented the EU Price Indications Directive and therefore now can be amended following Brexit, (ii) the CMA’s report on grocery unit pricing, (iii) Government research into drip pricing and hidden fees, and (iv) the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers (DMCC) Bill, currently going through the legislative process in Parliament.
On 9 August 2023, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) published a joint position paper on online choice architecture (OCA), titled “Harmful design in digital markets: How Online Choice Architecture practices can undermine consumer choice and control over personal information”. The paper forms part of the agencies’ work under the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum, which brings together multiple UK regulatory bodies to advance their combined thinking on regulatory issues in the digital economy.
The UK Government has published its long-awaited Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill, including a wide-ranging and far-reaching set of reforms to UK competition and consumer law, along with a new regulatory regime for digital markets.
On February 28, 2023, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) demonstrated its thought leadership in the integration of sustainability and competition policy by publishing draft guidance (“Draft UK Guidelines”) on the application of competition rules to agreements between competitors to tackle environmental sustainability objectives.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently published a Discussion Paper and accompanying Evidence Review on “Online Choice Architecture” (OCA). This provides a helpful overview of the CMA’s approach to analysing choice architecture, recognising that some practices are likely to be harmful to consumers but others may be beneficial.
The UK Government’s response to its consultations on ‘Reforming competition and consumer policy’ (April 2022) confirmed the Government’s proposals to give the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) enhanced consumer law enforcement powers.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and telecoms regulator (Ofcom) recently published a joint paper setting out their advice to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on new rules for digital platforms’ use of publishers’ content.
The UK Government’s responses to its consultations on ‘Reforming competition and consumer policy’ (April 2022) and ‘A new pro-competitive regime for digital markets’ (May 2022) included three proposals to amend or add jurisdictional or reporting criteria for the UK merger control regime. These would give the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) oversight of a wider range of mergers if implemented.