Insights Coalition of media industry bodies writes to Prime Minister calling for Government to prioritise legislation to give Digital Markets Unit (DMU) statutory powers in the next Queen’s Speech


The PPA, the News Media Association, the BBC, ITN, the Publishers Association, Channel 4, Radiocentre and AOP have written to the Prime Minister stressing that legislation is necessary to rebalance the relationship between platforms and creators of trusted content, ultimately benefiting audiences.

The letter acknowledges the introduction of the Online Safety Bill and stresses the “vital urgency of tackling the other side of the coin with legislation which will provide the Digital Market Unit (DMU) the necessary statutory powers and underpin the new pro-competition regulatory regime”.

The industry bodies recognise that the UK has played a leading role in identifying the harm caused to many businesses and consumers by the dominance of a small number of large tech platforms in the digital economy, and that: “The UK has also led on the solution to begin tackling these harms, with the creation of the DMU”. The signatories believe that the DMU can “tackle the root causes of large platforms’ market power, rebalancing the relationship between platforms and creators of trusted and much-loved content”. In the signatories’ view, “[t]his will be critical in ensuring the sustainability of the UK’s vibrant media sector, ensuring fair value and treatment for creators of content, and ultimately benefitting audiences”.

The letter stresses that with the first anniversary of the establishment of the DMU in shadow form approaching next month, “it is vital that the legislation that will give it teeth is forthcoming early in the next parliamentary session” to ensure that the UK “retains and capitalises on our world leading position”. In the signatories’ view, any delay to the legislation “risks the UK slipping behind other jurisdictions”.

The industry bodies welcome the efforts of the Government to date, but stress that “our sectors cannot afford any further delay to this critical legislation”. Further, they state, measures to ensure platforms do not erode choice for consumers reducing their access to British news, culture, stories, and entertainment as set out in the proposed media bill, are “crucial”.

The letter concludes: “By moving quickly and including the legislation in the Queen’s Speech in May, you will not only take the first step towards ensuring a healthy future for independent media, but you will position the UK as a world leader in tackling the imbalance of power between media providers and the tech platforms which threatens to deprive the public of the trusted news and information they require.” To read the letter in full on the PPA’s website, click here.