Delivered on 10 May 2022, the Queen’s Speech referenced two Bills of particular interest, applicable to the film and TV sectors. The below summary outlines the legislative proposals and benefits of both bills as well as the actions necessary to fulfil their purposes.
1) Draft Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill
“Draft legislation to promote competition, strengthen consumer rights and protect households and businesses will be published. Measures will also be published to create new competition rules for digital markets and the largest digital firms.”
The Bill focuses on empowering and protecting consumers, levelling the playing field for businesses across the digital market and creating a more competitive and dynamic market.
Empowering and protecting consumers will be achievable through:
– Protecting consumers hard-earned cash through greater transparency by tackling consumer subscription traps and updating consumer law prohibiting fake reviews in addition to preserving genuine reviews.
– Enabling the Competition and Market Authority to take swift and decisive action on behalf of consumers by boosting competition to give the best deals and determine when consumer law has been broken. Subsequently, consumers will be instilled with power and confidence.
– Improving quality and oversight of dispute resolution services.
The consumer policy provisions will extend and apply across Great Britain.
Boosting competition, driving innovation and creating opportunities will help build a more dynamic market for UK tech companies. The Digital Markets Unit will enforce new and reformed regimes which will include:
– A best in class regime to promote a wider variety of better quality consumer goods and services, making a more dynamic, prosperous and competitive market whilst offering the best deals.
– A new regime will see the Digital Markets Unit designate Strategic Market Status to powerful tech firms, (such as social media and online search), to address far-reaching market power, ensuring businesses across the market are treated fairly. Firms will face legally enforceable rules and obligations, preventing abuse of dominant market positions at the expense of consumers and other businesses.
– Addressing root causes of competition issues in the digital market by imposing interventions to inject competition. Tech firms will be required to report new mergers and offer consumers greater choice and control over their data.
Competition and digital market measures will extend and apply across the UK.
2) National Security Bill
“Measures will be introduced to support the security services and help them protect the United Kingdom.”
Amongst other issues regarding national security, the Bill proposes to update espionage laws to account for threats that have evolved and diversified over time. The most prevalent threat mentioned in relation to the film and TV industry is the persistent effort by foreign actors to steal intellectual property generated in the UK. New laws are necessary to help the intelligence agencies and police detect, deter, disrupt and prosecute state threat actors seeking to harm the UK.
The Bill will extend and apply across the UK.