April 14, 2024


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Apple, Meta and Google are targeted by the EU in DMA non-compliance investigations

Apple, Meta and Google are targeted by the EU in DMA non-compliance investigations

The European Commission is opening five non-compliance investigations into how Apple, Google and Meta complied with new antitrust rules of the Digital Markets Act. The regulatory body announced today. “We suspect that the proposed solutions put forward by the three companies do not fully comply with the DMA,” EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. “We will now investigate companies’ compliance with the DMA, to ensure open and competitive digital markets in Europe.”

In particular, the Commission plans to investigate the anti-routing rules that Google and Apple have put in place in their app stores and whether Google is guilty of favoring its own services within its search engine. Apple's browser selection screen for iOS as well as Meta's “payment or consent form” are also being examined for ad targeting. The committee said in a press conference that it intends to complete the investigations within the next 12 months.

In addition, the EU regulator is also looking into the fee structure announced by Apple for distributing apps outside the App Store, as well as whether Amazon favors its own products in its store. The Commission also announced that Meta has been given an additional six months to make Messenger interoperable with other messaging services.

“We are not convinced that the solutions offered by Alphabet, Apple and Meta respect their commitments to providing a fairer and more open digital space for European citizens and businesses,” EU Commissioner Thierry Breton said in a statement. “If our investigation concludes there is not full compliance with the DMA, gatekeepers could face hefty fines.”

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Following the investigation, the committee will tell each guard what needs to be done to address the concerns, as well as what measures the regulatory body plans to take. If found to be non-compliant, the Commission could fine each company up to 10% of its annual global revenue under the DMA, or up to 20% in cases of “repeated infringement”.

Earlier this month, the six big tech companies appointed as gatekeepers under the DMA had to start complying with its rules. These include having to give customers the option to change default apps and uninstall pre-installed gatekeeper apps, prohibiting first-party services from ranking gatekeepers higher than competitors, and allowing third-party app stores.

Margrethe Vestager, EU antitrust chief It was previously mentioned Reuters The Commission will take a closer look at how Apple complies with the regulation due to concerns that it may “not actually make it in any way attractive to use the benefits of the DMA.”

Meta's “payment or consent model” has also been the subject of complaints from various EU watchdogs. Last year, it launched a new paid tier for Facebook and Instagram in the EU that allows users to pay €9.99 per month to use each service without ads. The subscription is designed to be A way to obtain user consent To collect their data if they decide not to pay, but the Commission is concerned about the “binary option” offered by Meta. Last week, Meta said it had offered to reduce the monthly price for ad-free access to €5.99 per month to satisfy regulators.

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