EU investigates Apple, Microsoft and Meta over DMA violations

EU investigates Apple, Microsoft and Meta over DMA violations


28 March 2024

The European Union has initiated an inquiry on potential noncompliance with the Digital Markets Act. The European Commission, the EU's regulatory body, has taken aim at Apple, Alphabet, the parent company of Google, and Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram.

According to the EC's press statement, it will be investigating potential compliance issues with Alphabet and Apple over the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store, respectively. The organization states that it will check to determine if both businesses are adhering to the DMA's guiding principles. These regulations mandate that both app stores build up mechanisms for app developers to provide customers outside of them with access to deals.

Additionally, Apple is being looked into to see if it has broken any of the DMC's guidelines, which were designed to make it simple for owners of iOS devices to alter default settings, uninstall apps, and get option windows when it comes to using a different web browser or search engine.

The European Commission said it is searching Google for DMA infractions. The agency's goal is to determine whether Google provides equitable access to third parties in its search results, rather than favoring results that primarily showcase Alphabet's own services, such Google Shopping, Google Flights, and Google Hotels.

Lastly, Meta's recent decision to provide ad-free subscription plans for its Facebook and Instagram social networks in Europe has the European Commission investigating. The DMA's regulations compel some businesses, like Meta, "to obtain consent from users when they intend to combine or cross-use their personal data across different core platform services." The EC says it will investigate whether that business model complies with those requirements.

The EC claims that it is accumulating information for potential follow-up investigations in addition to existing official inquiries. One will investigate how much Apple charges for enabling third-party app shops on iOS devices in Europe. The other will obtain data from Amazon in order to discover proof that the company is favoring its own goods in its online shop over those of third parties. Additionally, the EC is requesting that Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Meta, and Apple hold onto any records pertaining to DMA compliance.

Within a year, the EC anticipates that Apple, Alphabet, and Meta will have completed their formal investigations. The European Commission (EC) may levy fines equivalent to 10 percent "of the company's total worldwide turnover" or more if the investigation reveals a pattern of DMA infractions.

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