1 July 2020

UK regulators join forces to ensure online services work well for consumers and businesses

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and Ofcom have set up a new forum to help ensure online services work well for consumers and businesses in the UK.

The Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum strengthens existing collaboration and coordination between the three regulators. It aims to harness their collective expertise when data, privacy, competition, communications and content interact.

With the unique challenges posed by digital markets and services, and an evolving landscape as the EU transition arrangements end, regulatory cooperation has never been so important.

The regulators have today outlined how they will work together to support effective and efficient regulation across the digital landscape, while exploring emerging regulatory policy challenges and encouraging innovation.

Bringing together their collective knowledge, the Forum will help to coordinate action and support the development of informed and responsive regulation.

Will Hayter, Senior Director of Policy and International at the CMA, said: “If we’re going to make sure digital markets work well for people and businesses now and in the future, it’s important that regulators work together to share expertise and information – that’s why we’ve created this forum.

“The CMA, ICO and Ofcom all have important insights into the challenges posed by digital markets – joining up through the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum will help protect consumers who rely on digital services.”

Simon McDougall, Executive Director for Technology and Innovation at the ICO, said: “The ICO already has a strong relationship with both the CMA and Ofcom, and I’m pleased the Forum formalises our existing collaborative efforts.

“We are in an era of digital innovation and ambition, so it’s crucial that regulators work together to find a balance between effecting compliance and encouraging change in the online world. The Forum will help us pursue joint projects and research, and we look forward to sharing knowledge and best practices.”

Kate Davies, Director of Strategy and Policy at Ofcom, said: “Close cooperation between regulators is essential if we’re to protect the interests of people and businesses in relation to online services.

“The Forum is important to support regulators in sharing and developing our understanding of the fast-changing digital landscape.”

In addition to the core members of the Forum, cooperation with other regulators is likely from time to time. The DRCF will also engage regularly with Government and will invite a relevant DCMS Director General to participate in meetings on a periodic basis.


Recent developments in relation to the three regulators and online markets:

  • The CMA published its final report in its market study into online platforms and digital advertising (1 July 2020).
  • The CMA published a call for information in relation to the Digital Markets Taskforce (1 July 2020). This work is supported by the ICO and Ofcom.
  • The UK Government announced that it was minded to appoint Ofcom as the regulator for online harms in the UK. It also appointed Ofcom as the regulator for video-sharing platforms established in the UK (February 2020).
  • The ICO’s Age Appropriate Design Code, also known as the Children's Code, has been laid before Parliament (June 2020).

Contact the media team

If you are a journalist wishing to contact Ofcom's media team:

Call: +44 (0) 300 123 1795 (journalists only)

Send us your enquiry (journalists only)

If you are a member of the public wanting advice or to complain to Ofcom: