Expert panel to investigate digital economy competition

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has hosted the inaugural meeting of a new independent expert panel looking at competition in the digital economy which will be examining the potential legal and regulatory impact

Hammond said: ‘Our digital economy is one of the UK’s great strengths, employing two million people across the country.

‘But people are concerned that the big players could be accumulating too much power in our new digital world. The work this panel is doing will help ensure we have the right regulations so that our digital markets are competitive and consumers are protected.’

The panel is headed by Professor Jason Furman, former economic adviser to Barack Obama, and will run from September 2018 to early 2019. Its work will culminate in a final report of recommendations for government.

The other members of the team are Professors Diane Coyle, Amelia Fletcher, Derek McAuley and Philip Marsden.

Coyle is the Bennett professor of public policy at the University of Cambridge and is currently a member of the Natural Capital Committee, an expert adviser to the National Infrastructure Commission and a member of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Fletcher is the professor of competition policy at the Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia. She is a non-executive director at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Payment Systems Regulator.

McAuley is professor of digital economy in the school of computer science at the University of Nottingham. He is director of Horizon, an interdisciplinary digital economy research institute and previously founded the Cambridge Microsoft Research facility and the Intel Research Lab in Cambridge.

Marsden is professor of law and economics at the College of Europe, Bruges, and senior director, case decision groups at CMA (until end September) and deputy chair of the Bank of England’s enforcement decision making committee.

The review will investigate the UK’s competition regime in the context of the digital economy. It will look at how this affects consumers, and the impact of competition policy on the UK’s growth, productivity, wages and labour markets.

A call for evidence will be launched shortly.

Report by Pat Sweet

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