/** * wael added 2-28 */ /** END */

EU Cracks Down on Big Tech: Apple, Google, Meta Face Investigations Under Digital Markets Act

Big Tech just got hit with a hammer from the EU. The European Union has launched its first official investigations into Apple, Google (Alphabet), and Meta (Facebook) under the new Digital Markets Act (DMA).

What’s the DMA?

The DMA is a new EU law aimed at curbing the power of major tech companies and promoting fairer competition in the digital market. It requires these “gatekeepers” to make changes in several areas, including:

  • App Stores: Allowing users to download apps from outside the official app store and choose their default browser and search engine.
  • Self-Preferencing: Stopping practices where the tech giant prioritizes its own services over competitors in search results or other areas.
  • Data Privacy: Giving users more control over their personal data and how it’s used.

Why are these companies being investigated?

The EU believes these tech giants may not be fully complying with the DMA. Here’s a breakdown of the specific concerns:

  • Apple: Restrictions on downloading apps from outside the App Store and the design of choice screens for browsers and search engines may not be giving users enough freedom. Apple’s new fee structure for developers using DMA features is also under scrutiny.
  • Google: Google’s self-preferencing of its own services in search results and its approach to allowing users to choose alternative browsers and search engines are being investigated.
  • Meta (Facebook): The EU is looking into whether Meta’s “pay or consent” model, where users either pay for ad-free service or agree to data tracking, complies with the DMA’s requirement for a genuine free alternative.

What happens next?

The EU has up to a year to complete these investigations. If the companies are found to be in violation, they could face fines of up to 10% of their global turnover, or even 20% for repeat offenses.

What does this mean for you?

This is a big step towards a more open and competitive digital market in Europe. It could potentially mean more choices for app stores, fairer search results, and more control over your data.

What did the companies say?

All three companies have defended their approaches and claim to be complying with the DMA. They plan to cooperate with the investigations.

Is anyone else getting investigated?

The EU is also looking into Amazon’s ranking practices on its marketplace, suspecting it may be favoring its own products. However, this is not a formal investigation yet.

What about other tech giants?

Interestingly, ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, has avoided any DMA action for now.

This is a developing story, so stay tuned for further updates on how these investigations unfold and how they might impact the way you use tech products in Europe.

For more insights and updates, visit our KI Design blog here.
Stay connected with us on Twitter for the latest news and discussion