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Apple Meta platforms likely to face charges for violating EU digital law

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The European Commission, which began investigating Apple, Meta, and Alphabet’s Google in March under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), considers Apple and Meta to be priority cases

Photo: Bloomberg

Rimjhim Singh New Delhi

Apple and Meta Platforms are likely to be charged for non-compliance with landmark European Union (EU) regulations designed to limit their dominance, according to a report in Moneycontrol.

The European Commission, which began investigating Apple, Meta, and Alphabet’s Google in March this year under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), considers Apple and Meta to be priority cases, the report cited sources as saying.

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The DMA mandates that major tech companies create opportunities for smaller competitors and facilitate user mobility across various online services, such as social media platforms, internet browsers, and app stores.

EU regulators will issue preliminary findings, akin to antitrust charges, before the August summer break, with Apple being charged first, followed by Meta, the report further said.

Following this, Apple, referring to a statement issued by it in March this year, said its plan complies with the DMA and its ongoing constructive engagement with the Commission.

Companies can propose remedies to address the concerns raised in the findings before a final decision is made, which is anticipated before EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager leaves office in November. Penalties for violations could include fines up to 10 per cent of a company’s global annual revenue, the report said.

The EU investigation into Apple focuses on its steering rules, which allegedly restrict app developers from informing users about free offers outside its App Store, and new fees imposed on app developers.

EU regulators are expected to charge Apple regarding this issue, with a secondary investigation into its Safari web browser’s choice screen likely to take longer.

The preliminary finding on Meta concerns its recent pay-or-consent model, where users must either pay a subscription fee for an ad-free experience on Facebook and Instagram or consent to ads, the report said.

Japan passes law on sale of third-party apps

In a separate move, Japan passed a new law that prevents Apple and Google from restricting third-party developers from selling their apps on the App Store and Google Play Store. This legislation aims to give users more choices and potentially boost competition.

The law prevents Apple and Google from limiting third-party companies to selling and operating apps exclusively through their app stores. Additionally, it requires these platform providers to allow app developers to use their chosen payment systems for user charges, rather than forcing them to use the default option.

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