Apple , Google and Meta targeted in EU’s first Digital Markets Act Probes

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager and European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton hold a press conference in Brussels, Belgium March 25, 2024. REUTERS

Apple , Alphabet’s Google and Meta Platforms will be investigated for potential breaches of the EU’s new Digital Markets Act, European antitrust regulators said on Monday, potentially leading to hefty fines for the companies.

The European Union law, effective from March 7, aims to challenge the power of the tech giants by making it easier for people to move between competing online services like social media platforms, internet browsers and app stores. That should in turn open up space for smaller companies to compete.

Violations could result in fines of as much as 10% of the companies’ global annual turnover.

U.S. antitrust regulators are also challenging Big Tech over alleged anti-competitive practices in a crackdown that could even lead to companies being broken up.

Tech companies say they have deployed thousands of engineers to meet a Digital Markets Act requirement that six “gatekeepers” – which provide services like search engines and chat apps used by other businesses – give users and rivals more choices.

But the European Commission said on Monday it suspected that the measures taken fall short of effective compliance under the DMA.

Asked if the Commission was rushing the process just two weeks after the act kicked in, EU industry chief Thierry Breton said the investigations should not be a surprise.

“The law is the law. We can’t just sit around and wait,” he told a press conference.

Derek Kanalo
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