The EU has launched a Digital Markets Act violation probe for Apple, Alphabet, and Meta

The EU has launched a Digital Markets Act violation probe for Apple, Alphabet, and Meta

The European Union’s regulatory body, the European Commission, has launched an inquiry into potential violations of its Digital Markets Act. The companies under investigation include Apple, Google’s parent company Alphabet, and Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram, according to the EU.

The European Commission announced in a press release that it will be investigating potential compliance issues with Apple and Alphabet’s iOS App Store and Google Play Store. The agency will be examining whether the companies are adhering to the steering rules outlined in the DMA, which mandate that both app stores must provide a means for app developers to offer consumers access to deals outside of their respective stores.

The DMC is currently investigating Apple to determine if the company has breached the rules that were put in place to ensure that iOS users have the ability to easily uninstall apps, alter default settings, and access choice screens in order to use their preferred search engine or web browser.

The EC has announced that it is investigating Google Search for potential violations of DMA regulations. The agency is specifically interested in determining whether Google’s search results provide equal opportunity for third-party services, rather than prioritizing Alphabet’s own services like Google Shopping, Google Flights, and Google Hotels.

The EC is currently reviewing Meta’s recent announcement of providing ad-free subscription options for its Facebook and Instagram social media platforms in Europe. The purpose of this review is to ensure that this business model aligns with the DMA’s regulations, which mandate companies like Meta to obtain user consent before combining or sharing their personal data across various core platform services.

The EC is currently conducting formal investigations and collecting information for potential additional probes. One investigation will focus on Apple’s fee structure for alternative app stores on iOS devices in Europe, while the other will gather evidence of any preferential treatment for Amazon’s own products over third-party products in its online store. Additionally, the EC has requested that Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft preserve any documents related to DMA compliance.

The EC has set a 12-month timeline for the formal investigations of Apple, Alphabet, and Meta to be completed. In the event that DMA violations are discovered, the EC has the authority to levy fines of up to 10 percent “of the company’s total worldwide turnover,”potentially increasing to an even higher amount if repeated violations are found.

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