Westminster eForum

Competition in the digital economy - the Furman Review, digital advertising, and the regulatory framework in the UK and worldwide

Morning, Tuesday, 10th September 2019

Central London


This timely seminar focuses on competition regulation in the digital economy.

It takes place as the Government considers its response to the publication of the Furman Review, the Digital Competition Expert Panel set up to consider the way forward for putting the UK’s digital economy - including its range of sectors and service types - on a sustainable long-term footing with respect to competition.

Sessions will consider the need, and options, for intervention by regulators and policymakers - and the impact on service providers, social media sites, streaming and content hosting platforms, their partners and customers, and other stakeholders.

Sessions will also consider the Review’s proposal of a new digital markets unit.

Delegates will discuss what remit the unit should have and the approach it should take to promoting competition in the digital economy - as well its regulatory powers.

Further sessions will include discussion on M&A activity in the digital economy, looking at whether a new regulatory approach is required - following the publication of the CMA’s Digital Markets Strategy.

We expect delegates to assess the extent to which promoting innovation and consumer benefit should be considered by the CMA as factors in whether to accept or reject a merger application - as well as examining the Review’s proposed ‘balance of harms’ consideration, which would allow the CMA to take into account the scale and probability of potential harms resulting from merger cases in making its assessment.

The agenda also looks at the digital advertising market. 

The discussion also takes place in the context of the recommendations contained in the Cairncross Review. Delegates will consider issues around whether that market is overly dominated by a small number of companies and publisher remuneration for advertising displayed next to their content.

Further sessions focus on developing international regulatory collaboration on the question of competition in digital markets. Delegates will examine how regulators might work in a more standardised and joined-up fashion across national borders, in order to monitor anti-competitive practices and scrutinise cross-border mergers.

Keynote Speakers

Will Hayter

Senior Director, Policy and International, CMA

Professor Philip Marsden

Member, Digital Competition Expert Panel and Professor, Law and Economics, College of Europe

Dr Nicola Mazzarotto

Global Head of Economics and UK Head of Competition Economics, KPMG

Chris Heaton

Head of Digital Markets, DCMS


Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable MP

Lord Gilbert of Panteg

Chairman, House of Lords Communications Select Committee


Richard Rous

Competition Strategy, Lloyds Banking Group

Rocio Concha

Chief Economist and Strategic Policy Partner, Which?

Jay Modrall

Co-Chair, Competition Policy Committee, American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union

Caroline Thomas

Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright

Antony Walker

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, techUK

Sarah MacDonald

Partner, Wiggin

Maud Sacquet

Public Policy Manager, Mozilla

Aastha Mantri

Senior Consultant, Economic Insight