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UK: Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill introduced in Parliament

The UK Government announced, on 25 April 2023, that the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology and the Department for Business and Trade had introduced the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill, which passed its first reading in the House of Commons on the same day. In particular, the Departments noted that the Bill is meant to ensure businesses and consumers are protected and can reap the full benefits of the digital economy with confidence.

Moreover, the Explanatory Notes provide that the Bill would:

  • create a new regime to increase competition in digital markets by conferring powers and duties on the Competition and Markets Authority to regulate competition in these markets;
  • update powers to investigate and enforce competition law;
  • update and enhance powers to investigate and enforce consumer protection law and resolve consumer disputes; and
  • give consumers protection in respect of unfair commercial practices, subscription traps, and prepayments to savings schemes.

Furthermore, the Departments noted that the Bill will come into effect as soon as possible following parliamentary approval, subject to secondary legislation and the publication of guidance.

You can read the press release here, the Explanatory Notes here, supporting documents here, the Bill here, and track its progress here.

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