Tech

EU Launches Formal Investigations into Apple, Google, and Meta under DMA

The European Union has initiated formal investigations, marking the first under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), targeting tech giants Apple, Google, and Meta. The move underscores the EU’s commitment to enforcing competition rules and ensuring fair market practices within the digital sphere.

Allegations Against Alphabet/Google

Alphabet/Google is under scrutiny for its practices concerning steering within Google Play and self-preferencing in search results. The EU aims to ascertain whether these actions violate the DMA’s provisions, as suspected. Breaches of the DMA could incur fines of up to 10% of the company’s global annual turnover, escalating to 20% for repeat offenses.

Focus on Apple’s App Store Rules

The EU is investigating Apple’s rules regarding steering in the App Store and the design of choice screens for alternative web browsers. Concerns have been raised about Apple’s compliance with user choice obligations on iOS, particularly in enabling users to easily uninstall apps and change default settings.

Scrutiny of Meta’s “Pay or Consent” Model

Meta’s “pay or consent” model, implemented for EU users, is also under investigation to determine its compliance with the DMA. The EU is examining whether this model effectively provides users with a genuine alternative and adheres to regulations on data usage across different platform services.

These investigations come amidst increasing antitrust scrutiny faced by the three US tech firms domestically. Criticisms have emerged regarding the adequacy of their DMA compliance plans, with concerns over potential violations of EU law.

EU’s Enforcement Timeline

The EU has up to 12 months to conclude these investigations, with a preliminary report possible within six months. The enforcement action underscores the EU’s commitment to fostering open and contestable digital markets in Europe.

Apple vs US Antitrust Lawsuit: A Comprehensive Overview

In response to the investigations, Apple, Google, and Meta have expressed confidence in their compliance with the DMA. They have pledged to engage constructively with the European Commission throughout the investigation process.

Additionally, the EU has announced investigatory steps in relation to Amazon’s ranking practices on its marketplace. Retention orders have been issued to Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft to preserve evidence for assessing their compliance.

Silver Lining for Meta

Despite facing investigations, Meta has been granted a six-month extension to comply with the DMA’s interoperability obligation for Facebook Messenger. This phased approach allows for a gradual implementation of regulatory requirements.

Allen

Allen holds a Master's degree in English Literature and boasts seven years of experience as a content writer. Specializing in Entertainment, Sports, and the latest news, he excels in crafting compelling narratives that captivate audiences. Allen's expertise in language and storytelling ensures that his content is both informative and engaging.

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