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EU regulators are investigating Apple, Google, and Meta for engaging in anti-competitive practices.

EU regulators are investigating Apple, Google, and Meta for engaging in anti-competitive practices.
EU regulators Apple, Google, and Meta

Have come under investigation by the European Union for engaging in uncompetitive practices. These cases mark the first instances under a comprehensive new law aimed at preventing large tech corporations from monopolizing digital markets.

The European Commission, which serves as the executive arm of the 27-nation bloc, announced that it is conducting investigations into certain companies due to their “non-compliance” with the newly implemented Digital Markets Act. This Act, which recently came into full effect earlier this month, serves as a comprehensive rulebook specifically aimed at addressing the activities of major tech companies that act as “gatekeepers” and provide essential “core platform services”.


Failure to adhere to the regulations could result in significant financial fines or the potential breakup of businesses. The regulations aim to enhance fairness and competitiveness in digital markets by dismantling exclusive tech ecosystems that restrict consumers to a single company’s offerings.

European Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager, who serves as the EU’s competition chief, made a significant announcement regarding the commission’s response to complaints concerning the alleged shortcomings of tech companies. In her statement, she revealed that investigations have been launched into multiple suspected cases of non-compliance. Ms. Vestager emphasized the commission’s commitment to addressing any additional issues that may arise during the investigations, highlighting their thorough approach to ensuring fair competition practices within the tech industry.

She said the companies have been ordered to hold on to certain documents that the commission can access in current and future investigations.

Application problems central to investigation.

Regulators are investigating whether Google and Apple are adhering completely to the DMA’s regulations, which mandate that tech firms permit app developers to guide users to more cost-effective alternatives beyond their app stores.

The commission expressed concerns about the two companies enforcing “multiple restrictions and limitations,” such as imposing recurring fees that hinder apps from freely promoting their offers.

Google is under scrutiny for failing to adhere to DMA provisions that prohibit tech giants from favoring their own services over competitors. The commission expressed concerns that Google’s actions could lead to third-party services on Google’s search results page being unfairly treated and discriminated against.


Google has implemented “significant changes” in its European operations to adhere to the DMA. The company’s competition director, Oliver Bethell, affirmed that Google will persist in defending its operational methods in the upcoming months.

The commission is probing Apple’s efforts to facilitate simple switching of web browsers for iPhone users. Additionally, it faces a lawsuit in the US over accusations of monopolizing the smartphone market.

Apple expressed confidence in the compliance of its plan with the DMA and stated its commitment to engaging constructively with the European Commission during their investigations. The company highlighted its development of a diverse set of new capabilities, features, and tools for developers to adhere to the regulations.

The commission is examining Meta’s proposal for European users to subscribe to ad-free versions of Facebook or Instagram, enabling them to steer clear of having their personal data leveraged for targeted online advertisements.

The commission expressed concern that Meta’s ‘pay or consent’ model’s binary choice may not truly offer an alternative if users do not consent. This could hinder the aim of preventing gatekeepers from amassing personal data. Meta stated its intention to collaborate positively with the commission.

“Utilizing subscriptions as a substitute for advertising has become a well-entrenched business model that spans across various industries. Recognizing the evolving landscape, our innovative approach led to the development of ‘Subscription for No Ads.’ This strategic solution not only aims to address multiple intersecting regulatory obligations, including the DMA (Data Management Association), but also seeks to enhance user experience by offering an ad-free subscription service,” the company highlighted in a prepared statement.

The commission said it aims to wrap up its investigations within 12 months.

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