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Newspaper Press: Internet

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 10133, tabled on 4 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Digital Markets Unit has plans to create a code of conduct covering technology platforms' relationship with news organisations; when that code of conduct will be published; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

11 June 2021

In November last year, the government announced that it would establish a new pro-competition regime for digital markets. At the heart of that regime will be a mandatory code of conduct to govern the relationships between dominant firms and different groups of users that rely on their services, to promote fair trading, open choices and trust and transparency. It will cover the relationships between news publishers and platforms.

A non-statutory Digital Markets Unit (DMU) was established in April, housed in the CMA, to introduce, maintain and enforce the code of conduct. The Unit has begun to operationalise the new regime, and the Digital Secretary has asked it to work with the communications regulator Ofcom to look specifically at how a code of conduct would govern the relationships between platforms and content providers such as news publishers, including to ensure they are as fair and reasonable as possible.

We will consult on the form and function of the DMU this year, and legislate to put it on a statutory footing as soon as parliamentary time allows.