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Industry leaders call on PM to act swiftly to save media

A coalition across the UK media sector, including commercial news and magazine brands, broadcasters, radio outlets, online publishers, book and journal publishers, Channel 4, ITN and the BBC, has come together to call on Boris Johnson to take urgent action to tackle the harmful impact of the tech platforms on British media and publishing.

Industry leaders call on PM to act swiftly to save media
“Any delay to the legislation risks the UK slipping behind other jurisdictions.” Photograph: Jordhan Madec on Unsplash.

In a letter to the Prime Minister signed by leaders from across the media sector, the industry has today stressed the vital importance of bringing forward the legislation to put the Digital Markets Unit on a statutory footing early in the next Parliamentary session.

“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,” the industry leaders said.

“Any delay to the legislation risks the UK slipping behind other jurisdictions. We welcome the efforts of government to date on this vital issue, but our sectors cannot afford any further delay to this critical legislation.”

Coordinated by the News Media Association and signed by the News Media Association, Radiocentre, Professional Publishers Association, Association of Online Publishers, Publishers Association, BBC, Channel 4, and ITN, the letter comes as the first anniversary of the establishment of the DMU in shadow form approaches next month.

“Under your Government, 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, not least with the CMA’s online advertising market study, which has been cited in jurisdictions around the world as others look to take action to tackle anti-competitive practices.

“The UK has also led on the solution to begin tackling these harms, with the creation of the DMU. We believe 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. This 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.”

Read the full letter here.


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