Expert panel to examine digital competition in the UK

A new expert panel, chaired by former US President Barack Obama’s chief economic advisor, Professor Jason Furman, is to look at competition in the digital economy and how to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in this field.

The Government says that while the UK has a competitive and well-regulated economy, rapid advances in the digital sector have led to the emergence of powerful new companies. This has raised questions about how to guarantee a competitive economy, while respecting people’s privacy and ensuring the whole of society can benefit from technological progress.

The appointment was unveiled alongside the publication of a government report on the value of data (click here), which cited evidence that data-driven technology could be worth £60 billion a year to the UK economy by 2020.

The panel will examine the UK’s competition regime in the context of the digital economy, considering questions such as:

  • how to ensure new firms can adequately compete, allowing choice to consumers and encouraging innovation;
  • the best approach to handle mergers between tech companies;
  • the impact on competition of having data held within a few big companies; and
  • the pros and cons of digital markets becoming concentrated, between only a small number of companies.

To read the Government’s press release in full, click here.