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Photo: Muhammed Selim Korkutata/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The U.K. government said on Friday that it will establish next year a Digital Markets Unit, which will enforce forthcoming "pro-competition" regulations aimed at curbing some of the digital platforms like Google and Facebook.

Why it matters: This is the latest move by a government to respond to growing objections to the size and power these companies have amassed.

  • The new unit will be part of the Competition and Markets Authority, which published in July a report on online platforms and digital advertising markets, and will start operating in April 2021.
  • The upcoming "code of conduct" the new unit will create and enforce will establish parameters for the expectations users can have from these services and promote greater data portability, transparency, and even more advertising choice for users.
  • Much of how how the unit will operate, the new regulations, and the penalties still need to be established.

The big picture: Meanwhile, U.S. regulators have filed or are working on antitrust cases against these same companies, while the European Union unveiled this week new regulations to give users more control over their data.

Go deeper

Jan 14, 2021 - Technology

Google completes Fitbit acquisition

Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Google has completed its acquisition of connected fitness device maker Fitbit, the search giant announced in a blog post Thursday.

Why it matters: Google's successful purchase of Fitbit comes as antitrust regulators around the world scrutinize large tech companies for their acquisitions, past and present.

49 mins ago - Health

Pfizer coronavirus vaccine safe, effective in children, company says

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective in children ages 5 to 11, albeit at a lower dose than adults receive, the companies said in a press release announcing results from a pediatric trial.

Why it matters: The trial results are a much-needed source of hope for families with elementary school-aged children, who currently aren't eligible for a vaccine.

The pandemic made our workweeks longer

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The average American's workweek has gotten 10% longer during the pandemic, according to a new Microsoft study published in Nature Human Behaviour.

Why it matters: These longer hours are a key part of the pandemic-induced crisis of burnout at U.S. firms — and workers are quitting in droves.