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Non-Compliance Investigations

The European Union (EU) is launching investigations into Apple, Google’s parent company Alphabet, and Meta (Facebook and Instagram’s parent company) for potential violations of the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Meta’s “Pay or Consent” Model

The EU is concerned that Meta’s “pay or consent” model may not provide users with a genuine alternative to sharing their data. Meta offers a paid subscription service that removes ads, but the EU believes this may not be a fair choice.

Alphabet’s “Self-Preferencing”

The EU is investigating whether Google unfairly promotes its own products in search results over third-party services. Examples include Google Shopping, Google Flights, and Google Hotels being ranked higher than competitors.

Apple’s User Choice

The EU is looking into whether Apple allows users to uninstall all iOS apps, including its own (e.g., Safari), and whether it provides adequate choice screens for web browsers and search engines.

App Store Steering Rules

The EU is also investigating Apple and Alphabet’s app store policies that restrict developers from steering users to cheaper alternatives outside their stores.

Potential Consequences

These investigations can take up to 12 months. If violations are found, the EU can impose fines of up to 10% of a company’s global turnover, with the possibility of doubling for repeat offenses.