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Government Ministers give evidence on online platforms

14 December 2015

The EU Internal Market Sub-Committee investigating online platforms takes evidence from two Government Ministers and Addison Lee.


Monday 14 December in Committee Room 2, Palace of Westminster

At 4.40pm:

  • Michael Galvin, Head of Regulatory Affairs, Addison Lee

At 5.15pm:

  • Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for the Digital Economy and Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Intellectual Property, Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Likely questions

In the first evidence session, likely questions include:

  • What is your view on collaborative economy platforms benefitting consumers by addressing failures and inefficiencies in traditional markets?
  • How does EU regulation apply to collaborative economy platforms such as Uber, and to what extent does the competence rest with Member States?

The second session, with the two Ministers, focuses on a variety of issues such as whether the dominance of these largest platforms should be tackled with competition regulations, what the Government is doing in terms of policy to encourage digital tech start-ups, and whether online giants are correctly obeying tax rules.

Specific questions may include:

  • Are you concerned that Google has vertically integrated a range of services into its search function, and given these priority over rival services, seemingly at the expense of competition?
  • What are your views about the disparity in regulation between Uber and black cabs? Is it fair?
  • Do you view parity clauses, such as those used by online travel agents, as an abuse of an already dominant position?
  • How easily can complainants of unfair practice seek redress?
  • Should consumers be able to switch between platforms more easily?
  • What policies does the government have to encourage digital tech start-ups and companies to grow?
  • The diverted profits tax, the so-called Google tax, was implemented to prevent online giants diverting profits away from the UK - is it working?

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright