The Policy Download

The weekly summary of tech policy and politics from Taso Advisory
Issue 54 / 10 July 2022
 Feature story 

Competition and Markets Authority concludes mobile ecosystem market study (link)

The CMA has finalised a year long study into mobile ecosystems and has concluded that Apple and Google have a "stranglehold" on mobile operating systems, app stores and browsers. So that's a nice quiet Friday over at Big Tech Towers.

The CMA means business here. They have launched an investigation into Google's app store payment practices, have a similar investigation ongoing for Apple, and are consulting on a market investigation into mobile browsers and cloud gaming. They reiterate their support for the ex ante powers the proposed Digital Markets Unit would have, promise to expand their digital case load, and commit to working with international partners. Uh oh.
 Other stories this week 

Line-by-line scrutiny of the Online Safety Bill (link)

We had more line-by-line scrutiny of the Online Safety Bill in Committee this week. The Government is doing a good job of whipping the Committee despite other troubles: every opposition amendment was voted down. The Government did, however, extend the fraudulent advertising duties in full to Category 2A services (search). 

Tech minister says Online Safety Bill will enhance free speech (link)

Well ok then if you say so I guess I'll just ignore loads of people FROM ACROSS THE ENTIRE POLITICAL SPECTRUM WHO THINK IT WILL BE REALLY BAD. Ahem. 

Digital Secretary vows to act on Google leftist bias (link)

In more news from a very serious country with a very serious government doing very serious policy work, the Digital Secretary has vowed to take action after a Daily Mail investigation (peer reviewed, I'm sure) showed that a Google search for Boris Johnson returned articles that were critical of him. Almost unbelievable that one of the world's biggest companies would optimise their core product to focus on being critical of the UK PM. Almost.
 Next week in Parliament 

While not in Parliament, London Tech Week kicks off next week. Expect lots of puffed up re-announcements from the Government. Maybe we'll get some real policy too. 

On Tuesday we'll have more line-by-line debate from the Online Safety Bill Committee

On Thursday we'll have more line-by-line debate from the Online Safety Bill Committee. There will also be oral evidence to the DCMS Committee on the sustainability of local journalism. Expect some demands for Google and Facebook to pay for links. The Fraud Act 2006 and Digital Fraud Committee will take oral evidence. 
What we've been reading and listening to

Tony Fadell: Build
 Our recent work 
The Telegraph - How Rishi Sunak became Britain's most powerful tech investor (link - £)

I spoke to James Titcomb, the Technology Editor at The Telegraph, about the UK Government's increased willingness to invest in tech companies. I think we should just buy from them, rather than buy them.  

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The Policy Download is written by Ben Greenstone and the team at Taso Advisory.

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Ben tweets at @ben_greenstone.
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