EU Investigating Apple, Google, Meta, Under New Digital Markets Act

The European Union is launching investigations into three major players, Apple, Alphabet, and Meta. This is the first probe under the recently enacted Digital Markets Act (DMA).

EU Investigating Apple, Google, Meta, Under New Digital Markets Act

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The investigations into Apple and Alphabet is around their alleged imposition of anti-steering rules in their respective ecosystems.

These rules restrict app developers from informing users about cheaper alternatives or subscription options outside of the designated app stores.

EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager has addressed concerns that the implementation of these rules may contradict the DMA’s principles.

Apple, in particular has already faced penalties from the EU, with a hefty fine of 1.8 billion euros for allegedly obstructing app developers from promoting alternative music subscription services.

The current inquiry goes deeper into Apple’s compliance with DMA obligations, including provisions for app uninstallation and default service choices on iOS devices.

Meta is under investigation for its “pay or consent” model, introduced as an ad-free subscription option for users in Europe.

There are examining whether this model truly offers users a meaningful choice and whether it prevents the accumulation of personal data by tech giants.

Thierry Breton, the internal market commissioner, addressed the need for Meta to provide free alternative options for its services.

The probe into Alphabet extends to Google’s search engine practices, focusing on whether the display of search results favors Google’s own services over competitors’ offerings.

This investigation is with efforts to ensure fair competition and prevent monopolistic tendencies in online search and advertising markets.

While not the primary focus Amazon’s potential preferential treatment of its own products on its e-commerce platform is also being examined by the EU.

The European Commission has opened investigations into Apple, Alphabet, and Meta, suspecting them of non-compliance with the DMA. These investigations is the first major probes under the newly enacted tech legislation.

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Initial focus is on alleged “anti-steering rules” implemented by Alphabet and Apple, hindering businesses from informing users about cheaper alternatives or subscriptions outside of app stores.

The competition chief Margrethe Vestager expressed concerns during a press conference regarding the implementation of these rules.

Apple has faced fines from the EU, €1.8 billion, for restrictions imposed on app developers regarding informing users about alternative music subscription services.

Further investigation targets Apple’s compliance with DMA obligations related to uninstalling apps on iOS and changing default settings, amid concerns about user choice within the Apple ecosystem.

The probe into Alphabet centers around the display of Google search results, questions about potential self-preferencing of Google’s services over competitors.

Alphabet has indicated changes made to comply with the DMA, including allowing Android users to change default search engines and browsers.

Meta’s “pay or consent” model exemplified by its ad-free subscription service for Facebook and Instagram in Europe, is under investigation.

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There are examining whether this model truly provides users with a viable alternative, especially concerning data privacy and consent issues.

The Commission aims to conclude these investigations within 12 months, with fines of up to 10% of the tech firms’ total worldwide turnover for infringements. These penalties can escalate to 20% for repeated violations.

Initial scrutiny is directed towards Apple and Alphabet’s anti-steering rules, which purportedly restrict businesses from informing users about alternative options or subscriptions outside of app stores.

This investigation casts a spotlight on the practices that have long drawn criticism from competitors and regulators alike.

Apple finds itself under scrutiny following a hefty €1.8 billion fine imposed by the EU for alleged antitrust violations related to restrictions on app developers.

Alphabet’s dominant position in the search market comes under scrutiny amid allegations of self-preferencing and anti-competitive behavior.

Meta’s “pay or consent” model, exemplified by its ad-free subscription service, faces examination over concerns regarding user privacy and choice.

The Commission’s vow to conclude investigations within 12 months underscores the urgency of the situation.

Potential fines of up to 10% of global turnover loom large, sending a clear message to tech giants about the consequences of non-compliance.

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