U.K. Competition Regulator Releases Interim Report on Digital Marketing Study

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is conducting a study on whether Google and Facebook’s market power has stifled competition in the digital market. CMA’s interim report supports the finding that the duopoly dominates the digital advertising market, depriving news publishers from monetizing content through advertising.  The report raised concerns that the platforms’ vertical integration lacks transparency and presents an inherent conflict of interest. The report also finds that such an anticompetitive marketplace could hinder innovation, lead to higher prices for consumers, and through the “ad tax” could result in less output of quality journalism. Among the regulatory recommendations being explored is an “unbundling” of Google’s products and services. CMA requests comments from stakeholders by February 12, 2020 and will release a final report with conclusions and recommendations by July 2, 2020. You can find the full interim report here.

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