The UK government announced that large digital companies like Google and Facebook will have to follow new competition laws in the UK or face large fines. The new Digital Markets Unit (DMU) will have the authority to prosecute companies that engage in predatory behaviour.
If companies do not comply, the regulator will have the authority to penalize them with up to 10% of their global turnover.
According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS), in addition to huge fines, tech companies might face further penalties of 5% of daily global turnover for each day. This might amount to tens of billions of dollars for firms like Apple.
The government also stated that if companies fail to participate properly with requests for information, senior managers will face civil fines. The exact date of implementation of this law is unknown, as the administration has stated that the appropriate legislation will be introduced in due course.
According to digital minister Chris Philp, the government wants to level the playing field in the technology industry, as few American companies have been accused of abusing their market dominance. He also said that the dominance of a few tech giants is crowding out the competition and stifling innovation.
The DMU will work to give individuals more control over how their data is used by tech companies, such as through targeted customized ads. It will also enable switching between phone operating systems like Apple iOS or Android and social media accounts easier without losing data and messages.