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May 16, 2022
The Queen’s Speech 2022 outlined the following Bills that could have implications for the media industry:
- Draft Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill: this will put the Digital Markets Unit (DMU) on a statutory footing and is designed to stop tech firms from abusing their dominant positions at the expense of consumers and other businesses;
- Data Reform Bill: this will reform the UK’s data protection regime in order to, in the Government’s words, “create a world class data rights regime that will allow us to create a new pro-growth and trusted UK data protection framework that reduces burdens on businesses, boosts the economy, helps scientists to innovate and improves the lives of people in the UK”;
- Media Bill: this is to reform public service broadcasting laws and enable a change of ownership of Channel 4; it will also give Ofcom powers to enforce a Video on Demand Code for streaming platforms; it will also repeal s 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, which if it were commenced, would mean new publishers would have to pay the costs of any court judgment if they were not a member of the approved regulator, regardless of the outcome of the judgment; the Government describes s 40 as “[…] a threat to the freedom and sustainability of the press”;
- Online Safety Bill: in the Government’s words, “to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online”; and
- Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill: this is intended to: improve cyber resilience and digital connectivity for individuals and businesses; ensure that smart consumer products are more secure against cyber-attacks; and accelerate and improve the roll out of mobile and broadband networks.