EU targets Apple, Google, and Meta over Antitrust concerns

EU targets Apple, Google, and Meta over Antitrust concerns

The European Commission today announced it has launched a major crackdown on the business practices of Big Tech giants, opening formal antitrust investigations against Alphabet (Google), Apple, and Meta (Facebook). This marks the first wave of enforcement actions under the bloc's sweeping new Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The probes focus on suspected violations of regulations designed to promote competition and fair access in the digital sector. The investigations come just weeks after the DMA took effect in March 2024.

Key Allegations:

  • Alphabet (Google): Accused of unfairly pushing its own services in Google Play app store and in Google Search results, potentially harming competitors.
  • Apple: Faces scrutiny over restrictions in its App Store and whether it unfairly limits users' ability to switch default browsers and search engines.
  • Meta (Facebook): The Commission is examining Meta's "pay or consent" model, which requires users to agree to the platform's collection and use of personal data in exchange for access to its services.

Potential Consequences

If the Commission finds the companies broke the rules, it could impose massive fines up to 10% of each firm's global revenue, or even 20% for repeat offenses. In severe cases, the EU could force structural changes like the breakup of businesses.

The Companies Respond

Apple, Google, and Meta have not yet issued formal statements in response to the EU's actions. However, these companies have previously defended their practices and are likely to contest the allegations vigorously.

Wider Context

This move by European regulators highlights the increasing global scrutiny of the power and influence of Big Tech. The DMA is a landmark piece of legislation that aims to restrict the ability of these tech giants to act as "gatekeepers" in the digital economy.

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