UK Becomes Fourth Jurisdiction to Introduce Dedicated Digital Platform Regulation, with More Jurisdictions Likely to Follow

On 23 May, the UK Parliament passed the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers (DMCC) Bill.  The new DMCC Act will bring about some of the most significant reforms to competition and consumer protection law in the UK in decades. Among other major reforms, it introduces a dedicated regime that provides for specific conduct rules for large digital platforms. The UK therefore becomes the fourth jurisdictionafter the EU with its Digital Market Act (DMA), Germany with its s.19A rules, and Japan with its new smartphone bill (also passed on 23 May)to introduce rules that target a handful of the largest digital firms.[1]

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has adopted a revised phase 2 investigation process and published updated Guidance on the CMA’s Jurisdiction and Procedure and Exceptions to the Duty to Refer.  The changes come after a period of extensive consultation and stakeholder engagement.  The new rules will apply to all investigations formally opened on or after 25 April 2024 that are subsequently referred to phase 2.

On April 2, 2024, the European Commission published, in full, its May 2023 decision unconditionally approving the acquisition of Inmarsat by Viasat[1] (the “Transaction”), following an in-depth Phase II investigation.  The UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) had also unconditionally cleared the acquisition on May 9, 2023.[2]  The Transaction was approved in the context of a trend toward broader consolidation in an increasingly challenged European satellite operations market, with SES announcing its intention to acquire Intelsat just a week before the Commission published its Viasat decision.[3]

In the latest instalment of the Cleary Gottlieb Antitrust Review podcast, host Nick Levy is joined by Saverio Valentino, Board member of the Italian Antitrust Authority. The conversation covers Saverio’s first year in the role, the agency’s current priorities, merger control and FDI regulation, cartel enforcement, rights of defence, judicial review, and much more.

In the latest instalment of the Cleary Gottlieb Antitrust Review podcast, host Nick Levy is joined by Sarah Cardell, Chief Executive of the Competition & Markets Authority.  Their conversation covers a range of topics, including her first year in the role, merger control, Microsoft/Activision, cartel enforcement, judicial review, international coordination, sustainability, and her plans for the future.

More than one and half year after the amendments to China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (the “AML”) came into effect, the State Council of China approved on December 29, 2023 and published on January 26, 2024 revisions[1] to China’s merger control notification thresholds (the “State Council Order”).[2]