UK to impose tougher rules on Google, Facebook
London: Britain has announced it will set up a watchdog to regulate tech giants such as Facebook and Google, help protect smaller competitors and give consumers more control over personal data.
Britain's announcement comes as US tech giants are facing increasing scrutiny around the world over their power and as other countries step up their regulatory powers.
"Our new, pro-competition regime for digital markets will ensure consumers have choice, and mean smaller firms aren't pushed out," said Business Secretary Alok Sharma.
The measures are due to come into force after Britain goes it alone at the end of a post-Brexit transition period from the European Union.
Next month the EU is to present its own major legislation called the Digital Services Act, which will set out rules for strict oversight over big tech.
Britain's Department for Culture, Media and Sport said the new regulator, the Digital Markets Unit, will "govern the behaviour of platforms that currently dominate the market, such as Google and Facebook".
The aim is "to ensure consumers and small businesses aren't disadvantaged", it said.
Britain's Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden acknowledged the online platforms bring "huge benefits for businesses and society" but said the "concentration of power amongst a small number of tech companies" was curbing growth and innovation, which could have "negative impacts" for the public. - AFP