Facebook and Google may be forced to share data with rivals as the UK seeks to check their power

Facebook and Google may be forced to share their hordes of data with rival companies, under a new plan laid out by the UK’s competition watchdog.
The regulator has recommended closer scrutiny of the two platforms, noting their ‘unassailable’ market positions in digital advertising.
The watchdog is proposing the creation of a new unit that could issue fines and force the two giants to alter their business practice.
In 2019, £14 billion was spent on digital advertising in the UK — around 80% of this went to Google and Facebook.
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Facebook and Google could be forced to share their treasure trove of billions of users’ data with competing firms, under a radical new plan laid out by the UK’s competition regulator.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), is urging the UK government to introduce closer scrutiny of platforms like Google and Facebook that are funded by digital advertising.

After a year-long review, the CMA has raised concerns that Facebook and Google have developed “unassailable” power in the market for advertising revenue, to the detriment of innovation and consumer choice in the UK.

In response, it is recommending the government launch a new “pro-competition regulatory regime” to police the behavior of the two giants. The CMA noted that the pair earned over 80% of the £14 billion ($17.3 billion) spent on digital advertising in the UK in 2019.

“What we have found is concerning,” said the CMA’s chief executive Andrea Coscelli in a press release, “if the market power of these firms goes unchecked, people and businesses will lose out. People will carry on handing over more of their personal data than necessary, a lack of competition could mean higher prices for goods and services bought online and we could all miss out on the benefits of the next innovative digital platform.”

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