Latest News

10 May 2022

NMA Welcomes Inclusion Of Draft Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill In The Queen’s Speech

The Queen’s Speech today confirms government plans to publish draft legislation giving the Digital Markets Unit new statutory powers to level the playing field between news publishers and the tech platforms.

The draft Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill includes measures to "create new competition rules for digital markets and the largest digital firms,” according to the briefing documents. 

"The independent Cairncross Review in 2019 identified an imbalance of bargaining power between news publishers and digital platforms. The Competition and Markets Authority found publishers see Google and Facebook as ‘must have’ partners as they provide almost 40 per cent of large publishers’ traffic."

Responding to the Queen’s Speech, News Media Association chief executive Owen Meredith said: “We welcome the inclusion of the draft Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill in the Queen’s Speech today.

“We are pleased the government has recognised the imbalance of bargaining power between news publishers and digital platforms and is taking this important step forward to enhance competition in the digital ecosystem.

“The Digital Markets Unit is established and operating in shadow form and we look forward to this legislation being introduced as soon as possible to give it the tools it needs to get on with the job.”

Last week, the government outlined plans for how the DMU will create a new pro-competition regime for the digital marketplace including introducing a legally binding code of conduct to underpin meaningful payment for news publishers' content by the tech platforms.

Publishing the CMA and Ofcom’s advice on a code of conduct for platforms and publishers, CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli called for the necessary legislation to be brought forward “as quickly as possible.”

Responding to the Queen's Speech, the NMA has also welcomed provisions in the Media Bill to repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 – a Conservative Party manifesto commitment from the last two general elections. 

Owen said: “We also welcome provisions announced within the Media Bill to repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 – a Conservative Party manifesto commitment. Repealing this pernicious legislation will be a very welcome step forward for press freedom in this country.”