My speech on the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill


  1. Mark B
    May 19, 2023

    Good morning.

    The problem with regulation is, that larger companies can always find nice little loopholes to exploit whilst the little guy cannot.

    All regulation has to do, is make sure that contracts and consumer protection are respected. Much of this we already have.

    1. Sir+Joe+Soap
      May 19, 2023

      More to the point the big guy can move production elsewhere, offshore profits and use the UK as merely a market place. Minis from China, anyone?

      1. a-tracy
        May 19, 2023

        Isn’t that the same as now though Joe? Buying cars from Germany made elsewhere, transit vans from Turkey when we used to make them in the UK, Japanese cars who at least drive on the same side as the UK.

        We seem to be very generous people Brits not at all nationalist, as we are always accused of being. Quite generous with who we sell the UK property to and businesses to – with no real caveats to maintain our standards and pay to repair old and decaying parts of the business they initially bought and are making a good profit on, well that’s how it seems to me from what is reported, but who knows what is true in the press.

        It’s always someone else’s fault things don’t work right; we had a shopping centre sold by the Council and eventually owned by an Irish company that let it go to rack and ruin even though they were charging high rents (very high) and maintenance fees, the council bought it back off them in a totally damaged state for as much as it was in good condition, unbelievable that protections hadn’t been written in by the land leaseholder and original council to keep to a certain checked standard.

  2. Sir+Joe+Soap
    May 19, 2023

    Next question is: do you just allow capacity to build itself, or do you prod, poke and persuade it?
    Before we really are down to national attributes being pageantry and soccer, perhaps the moment has come to provide more help for smaller companies to pull IP out of universities and engineering institutions, which themselves need to grow enormously to replace the Noddy courses and institutions…

  3. Donna
    May 19, 2023

    Of course the Blob’s policy of tax, regulate and occasionally subsidise businesses and industries, which has been so enthusiastically grasped by this Not-a-Conservative-Government, keeps the legions of lazy, incompetent and politicised Civil Servants/public sector employees in their well-paid, comfy jobs.

    Meanwhile, the productive wealth-producing private sector is being driven over a cliff.

  4. James1
    May 19, 2023

    “ I ask the Government to look at what they are doing, because I think they are in danger of doing counterproductive and contradictory things”

    They are not in danger of doing it, they are already doing it. In spades. Which is one of the main reasons they will be voted out at the next election

  5. Berkshire Alan
    May 19, 2023

    All points made well, just a shame that you need to make them, because so few politicians seem to understand basic economics, common-sense, and logic.

    1. Waqnderer
      May 19, 2023

      +1 BA. It is like our host is the only adult in the place, patiently explaining things to the children. Children who are in charge of our government.

  6. Peter Gardner
    May 19, 2023

    Excellent speech, Sir John. However, I doubt very much whether the Government will take any notice because you are up against the high spend, high tax Chancellor (Hunt) and a former high spend, high tax chancellor (Sunak). The latter has also recently reaffirmed in his Framework for the NIP UK’s commitment to remain aligned with EU rules, including on competition and public subsidy, and the EU’s right to take retaliatory action should UK attempt to diverge enough to give the UK an advantage. The EU, of course, can break its own rules with impunity but its member states and the UK may not. Even if the UK did attempt to diverge it could do so only in GB, not in NI because Sunak has agreed EU rule in NI is now permanent.

  7. Elli Ron
    May 19, 2023

    The chasm between the “aspiration” of replacing all fossil fuel with reneables and the actual ABILITY to do it, is glaring, yet the elite is driving the country into the granite wall of reality with single mindedness and insane glee.
    There is a huge and concentrated pressure from the renewable industry and their friends in the media to run into this blind alley which will enrich these interest while impoverishing the country, all for a Quixotic efforts to limit warming to some arbitrary and meaningless 1.5 C rise (since 1800).
    Pointless? Are we not going extinct by 2030?
    For all these nonsensical arguments they turn a blind eye to the FACT that 90% of the world will increase the use of coal and other fossil fuel, completely negating all our pointless effort of reducing atmospheric CO2.

  8. Bloke
    May 19, 2023

    Demand pulls markets into existence.
    Buyers and sellers know what they each want and seek it.
    They agree on their best choice in competition with others.
    Govt should not interfere to tell them what they want them to want.
    Simple existing laws should prevent going wrong.
    Healthy competition prevents law causing illness.

  9. formula57
    May 19, 2023

    You offer cogent views. My astonishment comes from the apparent need to school the government and parliament in these matters.

    1. glen cullen
      May 19, 2023

      Agree – I’m fed up with governments continuously poking their nose into areas of our social life that’s got nothing to do with them

  10. Ian B
    May 19, 2023

    Competition is the main stay of competitive pricing. Recently Microsoft and the Chancellor had an issue with the UK regulator over their proposed $69billion take over of Activision. With $69Billion in their pockets MS could have created a competitor for the market place, instead they chose to corner the market thus making it harder for anyone else to enter – that to me is a distortion of a free market and the reason and purpose of a free market.

    Then at the other end we have UK Water Companies that just don’t have competition, its programmed out. They exists having obtained UK taxpayer funded infrastructure and on-going Taxpayer funding. In situations similar to that the Government should have retained ownership of the infrastructure and then by competitive tender, bought in entities to run it, in that context Government should never employ any one directly.

  11. ukretired123
    May 19, 2023

    I can’t wait for AI to fix the not fit for purpose & service so called Civil Service.

  12. Ian B
    May 19, 2023

    In all these situations, as in each and every situation were Taxpayer Money is spent ideally shared ownership should be paramount. As in a UK Battery facility getting built requiring UK taxpayer money if there is Foreign owner is just a shared ownership.

    Parliament must at all times be the arbiter and overseer the results of TaxPayer spend. Meaning if the Taxpayer is required, investment, subsidy however you want to call it it has to have Political Control. The object being is accountability and responsibility to the taxpayer. Government must ensure a reinvestable return is forth coming as a result of taxpayers money involvement. If there were a tangible(shareholder) return the kitty would grow for further investment instead of the tax take.

  13. Matt
    May 19, 2023

    I wouldn’t dare disagree with you. Jeez

  14. margaret
    May 19, 2023

    “competition is the best regulator.” what a woolly statement or rather the statement in itself isn’t woolly but rather misses all the nasty tactics employed in competition. The request by many to focus excludes reasons , why’s and wherefore’ s . An slightly bizarre example of this. The man tripped on a dangerous wire on your property; it is your responsibility to keep your property in good order. ( reason;- he was a burglar )

  15. Original Richard
    May 19, 2023

    Make no mistake. Net Zero is designed to end free markets, competition and democracy through economy destroying rules, regulations and restrictions.

    This is what our PM, when Chancellor, meant at COP26, when he said the entire global financial system would be re-wired for Net Zero.

  16. Waqnderer
    May 19, 2023

    +1 BA. It is like our host is the only adult in the place, patiently explaining things to the children. Children who are in charge of our government.

  17. Ed M
    May 19, 2023

    We also need smart, high-tech-savvy government who knows how to help the high tech industry, like in Israel, the government setting up a hedge fund for the high tech entrepreneurs of the future which has helped to establish Tel Aviv as a leading high tech hub. And other governments around the world helping kids become more high-tech savvy including being able to code. And more.

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