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EU launches investigations into Apple, Google, and Meta for potential digital market violations


Brussels: European Union antitrust regulators have initiated their first probes under the Digital Markets Act (DMA) into tech giants Apple, Alphabet's Google, and Meta Platforms for potential breaches of the landmark EU tech regulations.

"The (European) Commission suspects that the measures put in place by these gatekeepers fall short of effective compliance of their obligations under the DMA," stated the EU executive.

The investigations by the EU competition enforcer will focus on Alphabet's rules concerning steering in Google Play and self-preferencing on Google Search, Apple's rules regarding steering in the App Store and the choice screen for Safari, and Meta's 'pay or consent model', reported Reuters.

Additionally, the Commission has taken steps to investigate Apple's new fee structure for alternative app stores and Amazon's ranking practices on its marketplace.

The DMA, which became effective on March 7, mandates compliance by six gatekeepers, including search engines, social networks, and chat apps, to ensure fair competition and offer users more options.

Violations could result in fines of up to 10% of the companies’ global annual turnover.

EU industry chief Thierry Breton defended the investigations, stating that the law requires enforcement without delay. He emphasized the need for compliance with the regulations to create a fairer and more competitive digital market.

Apple and Google face scrutiny for potentially not fully adhering to DMA rules, specifically regarding app developers' ability to direct users to offers outside their app stores. The Commission expressed concerns about restrictions and fees imposed by the companies that hinder app promotion.

Meta's introduction of a subscription service in Europe triggered criticism, prompting the Commission to investigate whether offering only paid alternatives limits user choice, thus undermining the DMA's objective of preventing data accumulation by gatekeepers.

The EU has previously fined Google billions of euros for antitrust violations, and Apple was recently fined over €1.8 billion for alleged anti-competitive behavior related to its App Store practices.

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TAGS:AppleEUGoogleMetaDigital Market Violations
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