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Google, Apple and Meta will face the first Digital Markets Act investigation in the EU.

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Google, Apple and Meta will face the first Digital Markets Act investigation in the EU.

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appleof the alphabet Google And meta-platforms will be investigated for potential violations of the EU’s new Digital Markets Act, European antitrust regulators said Monday, potentially subjecting the companies to hefty fines.

gave United Europe The law, which took effect on March 7, aims to challenge the power of tech giants by making it easier for people to move between competing online services such as social media platforms, internet browsers and app stores. This in turn should open up space for smaller companies to compete.

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

US antitrust regulators are also challenging. Big tech In a crackdown on alleged anti-competitive practices that could even lead to the collapse of companies.

Tech companies say they have deployed thousands of engineers to meet one. Digital Markets Act The requirement is that six “gatekeepers” — those who provide services such as search engines and chat apps used by other businesses — provide more choice to consumers and competitors.

But the European Commission said on Monday it suspected the measures taken fell short of effective compliance under the DMA, confirming a Reuters story.

Asked if the Commission was rushing the process just two weeks after the act came into force, EU industry chief Thierry Breton said the investigation should not come as a surprise.

“The law is the law. We cannot just sit and wait,” he said at a press conference.

Apple compliance

At issue is whether access to choice screens that allow Apple users to easily uninstall software applications on their iOS operating system, change default settings on iOS, or switch to a rival browser or search engine on iPhones. Complies with permitting obligations.

Another concern for regulators is “steering”: whether Apple imposes limits that prevent app developers from notifying consumers about offerings outside of its App Store for free.

Apple said it believes its plan complies with the DMA, adding that it has been accountable to the Commission and developers throughout the process and incorporated their feedback into its changes. Is.

Regulators say the anti-steering problem also applies to Alphabet. The investigation will examine whether it prioritizes its vertical search engines, such as Google Shopping, Google Flights and Google Hotels, over competitors, and whether it discriminates against third-party services on Google search results.

Fee or no fee.

The commission also cited Apple and Alphabet’s fee structures, saying they conflicted with the “free” requirement of DMA. Both companies have recently introduced new fees for some services.

Breton said Meta, which introduced an ad-free subscription service in Europe last November that has drawn criticism from rivals and consumers, should offer free alternatives.

A Meta spokesperson said the company is trying to comply with the Act’s guidance.

“Subscriptions as an alternative to advertising are a well-established business model in many industries, and we designed ad-free subscriptions to meet a number of overlapping regulatory obligations, including the DMA’s,” the spokesperson said. What is it.”

Google said it has made significant changes to its services and will defend its approach in the coming months.

The commission is also taking steps to investigate Apple’s new fee structure for alternative app stores and Amazon’s ranking practices in its marketplace.

Amazon Along with this is another DMA “gatekeeper”. Microsoft And of TikTok Chinese Malik Bite Dance.

“Amazon complies with the Digital Markets Act and has engaged constructively with the European Commission on our plans since the designation of our two services,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “We work hard every day to meet the high standards of all our customers in Europe’s ever-changing regulatory environment.”

The EU executive, which aims to complete the investigation within a year, the timeframe set under the DMA, said it had ordered the companies to retain certain documents, allowing them to Access relevant information in current and future investigations.

The EU investigation comes amid growing criticism from app developers and business users about shortcomings in the companies’ compliance efforts.

© Thomson Reuters 2024

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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