Insights Information Commissioner’s Office and Competition and Markets Authority publish joint statement on cooperation in digital markets

The ICO and the CMA have published a joint statement setting out their shared views on the relationship between competition and data protection in the digital economy. The statement highlights the overlap between promoting and protecting competition in digital markets and safeguarding people’s data. It states that coherent and clear regulation is vital for creating the conditions that allow new innovative services to flourish and for people to have confidence in digital services.

The statement claims that competition and data protection are not in opposition to each other but are complementary agendas. It states that the regulators are committed to working together to find regulatory solutions that achieve good competition and data protection outcomes.

The statement sets out:

  • the important role that data, including personal data, plays within the digital economy;
  • the strong synergies that exist between the aims of competition and data protection;
  • the ways that the two regulators will work collaboratively together to overcome any perceived tensions between their objectives; and
  • practical examples of how the two organisations are already working together to deliver positive outcomes for consumers.

At the end of April 2021 the regulators also signed an updated Memorandum of Understanding, setting out how they will collaborate in future, for example through information sharing, and the potential for joint projects. The MOU and the statement fit within the broader programme of work of the Digital Regulatory Cooperation Forum, involving the CMA, the ICO, Ofcom and the FCA, to support a coordinated regulatory approach across digital and online services.

The ICO and CMA say that they will also engage with relevant organisations around the world to build consensus and promote global regulatory coherence and collaboration. To read the ICO’s press release in full and for a link to the joint statement, click here.