European Parlament

Digital Markets Act: EU opens proceedings against Meta, Apple and Google

EU-Kommission geht wegen Digital Markets Act gegen Tech-Riesen vor © EC - Audiovisual Service
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The EU has initiated investigations against Apple, Alphabet subsidiary Google and Facebook parent Meta due to alleged violations of the Digital Markets Act (DMA). It is the first investigation under sweeping new digital market legislation, reports CNBC. The EU Commission announced on Monday that the three US technology companies had not met the requirements.

EU Commission investigates “anti-steering rules”

Today, the Commission has opened non-compliance investigations under the Digital Markets Act (DMA) into Alphabet’s rules on steering in Google Play and self-preferencing on Google Search, Apple’s rules on steering in the App Store and the choice screen for Safari and Meta’s ‘pay or consent model,” the Commission said in a statement.

The first two investigations focus on Alphabet and Apple and relate to the so-called “anti-steering rules”. Under the DMA rules, technology companies are not allowed to prevent companies from informing their users about cheaper options for their products or about subscriptions outside of an app store.

Digital Markets Act: How tech giants are reacting to the EU regulation

Apple has already received a fine

The way Apple and Alphabet have implemented the DMA anti-steering rules appears to be at odds with the letter of the law. “Apple and Alphabet will continue to charge various recurring fees and limit steering,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said at a press conference on Monday.

Apple has already run afoul of EU regulations in this area. This month, the EU Commission fined Apple €1.8 billion after finding that Apple had imposed restrictions on app developers that prevented them from offering iOS users alternative and cheaper music subscription services to inform you that are available outside the app.

The third study focuses on Alphabet. The European Commission said it was investigating whether Alphabet’s display of Google search results “could lead to self-referencing with respect to other Google services” such as Google Shopping versus similar competing services. In addition, they also want to investigate Meta’s new subscription model. With this, users have to pay for an ad-free version of the social media networks Facebook and Instagram.

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