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THE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & LifestyleTHE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & Lifestyle

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EU Takes Action: Investigation Initiated Against Apple, Meta, and Google

EU Takes Action: Investigation Initiated Against Apple, Meta
EU Takes Action: Investigation Initiated Against Apple, Meta

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EU Takes Action: Investigation Initiated Against Apple, Meta, and Google

The European Union (EU) has initiated investigations into several major tech companies, including Meta, Apple, and Alphabet, over potential violations of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) implemented in 2022. If found guilty, these firms could face substantial fines amounting to up to 10% of their annual turnover. The investigations were announced by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager and industry head Thierry Breton.

These inquiries come shortly after the submission of compliance reports by the tech giants, highlighting a swift response from the EU. The DMA obligations primarily target six companies, comprising the world’s largest tech firms, although none are headquartered in Europe, with five situated in the US and ByteDance based in Beijing.

The specific focus of the investigations involves alleged restrictions preventing apps from freely communicating with users and forming contracts, as well as concerns about limited user choice, unfair data usage practices by Meta, and potential preferential treatment of Google’s own goods and services in search results.

Apple, which recently faced a €1.8bn fine for competition law violations related to music streaming, expressed readiness to engage with the investigation, asserting confidence in compliance with the DMA. They emphasized incorporating various mechanisms to adhere to EU legislation and safeguard user privacy and security.

Similarly, Meta defended its use of subscription-based models as an alternative to advertising, stating compliance with regulatory obligations, including the DMA, and pledging to cooperate with the Commission’s inquiry. Alphabet has yet to comment on the investigations.

The EU anticipates completing the investigations within approximately 12 months, though there may be slight delays. The probes are consumer-focused and aim to ensure open and competitive digital markets in Europe. Thierry Breton emphasized the urgency of action, particularly in light of upcoming European Parliament elections in June 2024.

Dr. Rupprecht Podszun, director of the Institute for Competition Law at Heinrich Heine University, characterized the EU’s actions as a significant signal, highlighting the DMA’s focus on achieving swift outcomes. He underscored the importance of addressing core business model issues and anticipated intense legal battles, with the ultimate resolution resting with the Court of Justice.


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