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UK competition watchdog to focus on growth and innovation, streamline processes

Published Nov 24, 2023 21:32
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LONDON - The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is set to receive expanded authority under the Digital Markets Act, emphasizing economic growth and innovation. This move comes after the CMA faced criticism for its initial resistance to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)'s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), which was eventually approved in October. Despite the controversy, which Microsoft President Brad Smith referred to as Britain's "darkest day" in tech, the CMA has reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining market competitiveness and fairness.

The UK government has issued a policy paper instructing the CMA to reduce regulatory burdens on businesses and focus on sectors that are critical for economic growth. This guidance follows scrutiny over the handling of the Microsoft-Activision deal, particularly concerns related to the cloud gaming market. As part of its annual plan, the CMA aims to generate economic benefits at least ten times greater than its operational costs.

On Thursday, Kevin Hollinrake, a UK official, highlighted objectives that include support for investment and measures to alleviate the cost of living through advancements in the digital economy. In response to these directives, Sarah Cardell of the CMA stated on Friday that while the agency is refining its merger investigation process for greater efficiency, it will not waver in protecting UK consumers and businesses from deals that could harm them.

The CMA's renewed focus on fostering growth and innovation while safeguarding consumer interests reflects its evolving role post-Brexit. With increased responsibilities, the agency is adapting its approach to ensure that it continues to serve as a guardian against monopolistic practices without stifling economic development.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

UK competition watchdog to focus on growth and innovation, streamline processes
 

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