A new competition regime designed to tackle the power of platforms such as Google and Facebook has been announced.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Department for Business said the Digital Markets Unit will rebalance the relationship between news publishers and the tech giants.

It will govern their commercial relationships, ensuring the platforms are not imposing terms that limit the publishers’ ability to monetise their content.

The unit will attempt to give people more choice and control over their data, as well as ensuring businesses are fairly treated.

A statutory code of conduct could force platforms to be more transparent about the services they provide and how they are using consumers’ data.

The new unit, which will be set up within the Competition and Markets Authority and co-ordinate with regulators including Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office, is set to begin work in April.

Powers to suspend, block and reverse decisions of tech giants, as well as the ability to order them to take certain actions to achieve compliance with the code, have been proposed, with the threat of financial penalties for failure to follow the rules.