The CMA has launched a study into online platforms and digital advertising. The study will focus on harm caused by consumers in connection with three areas of digital advertising:
- the extent online platforms (such as Google and Facebook) have market power in user-facing markets and the impact of this;
- whether consumers are able and willing to control how data about them is used and collected by online platforms; and
- whether competition in the digital advertising market may be distorted by any market power held by the platforms.
The definition of ‘online platform’ is a service that uses information and communication technologies to facilitate interactions between users, and collects use data about these interactions. This will include search, social media and related services.
The study is part of the CMA’s Digital Market strategy, which aims to align CMA regulation with the quickly changing technology sector.
The CMA are inviting comments on the statement of scope by 30 July 2019. If the CMA finds that concerns raised about online platforms are substantiated, they will consider potential remedies, such as the development of a tailored regulatory regime.