back to article Finance watchdog warns of long-term risk Big Tech poses to competition

The Financial Conduct Authority, the UK's financial services regulator, has begun discussions with the aim of understanding the impact of Big Tech on industry competition. The move is set to kick-start a process which could take an interest in how Big Tech – taken to mean Facebook, Apple, Google, and Amazon – affects the …

  1. b0llchit Silver badge

    Long term risk has already arrived

    In recent years, Big Tech's entry into financial services, in the UK and elsewhere, has demonstrated their potential to disrupt established markets, drive innovation and reduce costs for consumers...

    I must have been sleeping and dreaming. I thought they were wrangling 30% off of every transaction. How exactly is that reducing costs? The sticker price will just go up to compensate. And, they enforce little-to-none choice by coupling with their existing exclusive markets. Competition? Where?

    1. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: Long term risk has already arrived

      No, you're thinking of the new markets Big Tech have created.

      Now imagine them applying those same approaches (and costs) to established markets - online payments, payment cards, utilities..

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "understanding the impact of Big Tech on industry competition"

    Oh, great.

    It's only been 30 years or so, nice to see that Administrative Time is waking up.

    1. TimMaher Silver badge

      Re: "Administrative Time”

      How many thousands of Trusses is that? Or lettuce.

      1. b0llchit Silver badge

        Re: "Administrative Time”

        We are in the GTruss area (which comes with strings attached).

        1. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: "Administrative Time”

          I really didn't need g-strings and truss in the same sentence.

  3. VoiceOfTruth


    The City doesn't want competition, that's what it is. There could be a Google bank soon.

  4. Steve Button Silver badge

    What "benefits" ?

    "Across the world, we've seen the capability of Big Tech to offer transformative new products in areas such as payments, deposits and consumer credit."

    What are these transformative new products exactly? In what way have they driven innovation and reduced costs?

    1. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: What "benefits" ?

      "In what way have they driven innovation and reduced costs?"

      By being "cheap and cheerful" -- primarily as a result of being largely unregulated. And the side effects seem not to have been considered. Such outcomes as arbitrary account freezing by paypal killing small businesses or real estate rental shortages due to airbnb are not trivial issues to ordinary folks, but the economists usually seem to ignore them in favour of encouraging 'growth'.

  5. Dave559

    Google already has its tentacles in there

    Google already has its tentacles in there: too many banking websites (and apps, where you can't arm up your device to block such spyware) have Google tentacles writhing through the door.

    Some account sign up forms use Google CAPTCHA (unnecessary, given that such forms are usually multi-page and feature sections (eg, address post code lookup) that bots would be unable to complete); JavaScript libraries loaded from Google APIs (and various other CDNs) if they're really stupid; and, an even worse recently growing trend, with some banks, when you click through for full details of debit card transactions, the details page "helpfully" shows a Google Map of the location, so that the data reaping scum can find out where you have been and where exactly you have been shopping, juicy, juicy data which I have never consented to be made available to third parties. That is something that the ICO (or noyb) really needs to take action against, scope for a Register article/campaign?

    1. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: Google already has its tentacles in there

      "something that the ICO (or noyb) really needs to take action against"

      The practices you describe are so widespread that by now it would be practically impossible to eradicate them as there is no proactive policing of data protection. Plus, if the last mooted proposals for legislation change proceed, it could well become necessary to show actual material harm in order to get the ICO to consider taking action.

  6. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

    Translated in plain language

    "We are ready to accept bribes lobbying contributions"

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