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Internet: Safety

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 2287, tabled on 17 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what conditions would disqualify a person's worldwide revenue from being subject to penalty under conditions outlined in clause 86 of the Online Safety Bill.

Answered on

21 May 2021

The Online Safety Bill allows Ofcom, in certain circumstances, to find (i) parent companies jointly and severally liable for breaches by its subsidiaries where the parent has sufficient control over the non-compliant subsidiary; and (ii) subsidiaries jointly and severally liable for its parent’s or fellow subsidiaries’ breaches where their acts or omissions contributed to the failure.

Clause 86 sets out how the maximum amount for penalties operates where two entities are jointly and severally liable for a penalty. It specifies that Ofcom can impose penalties of up to the greater of £18 million or 10% of ‘qualifying worldwide revenue’ of the group of entities of which the two liable entities are members. The conditions under which Clause 86 penalties can apply therefore depends on the final definition of ‘qualifying worldwide revenue’. Ofcom will consult with industry in order to identify an appropriate definition.