Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, the two Conservatives vying to be party leader and the UK’s next Prime Minister, have both committed to bringing forward the Digital Markets Unit (DMU) legislation this Autumn if they are selected by Tory party members.
The DMU requires statutory powers to introduce new anti-competition regulation for tech giants such as Google and Meta. The new regime will create benefits across UK’s digital economy, with potential benefits for publishers including a fairer digital advertising market.
Following an open letter from the PPA and a coalition of media industry organisations, including the News Media Association (NMA), BBC, and ITN, the Government committed in May’s Queen’s Speech to bring forward draft legislation, but without a timetable for implementation.
Last week, Sunak promised to table DMU legislation, saying publishers deserved ‘fair terms’ in negotiations with large platforms. This commitment was matched by Liz Truss, who told the Eastern Daily Press: “I will keep those commitments”.
The PPA is pleased to see both candidates for Conservative leader recognise the urgent need for fair competition in digital markets, and the need for Government to support publisher sustainability. Crucially, the commitment to bring forward legislation expeditiously will reduce the chance that the UK will fall behind other jurisdictions.
As well as pushing for the regime to become operational as soon as possible, the PPA also continues its work to ensure that the detail of the regulation will be effective in rebalancing the relationship between large platforms and publishers.