EU launches probe into Apple, Google, Meta over violation of Digital Markets Act

The NFT Unicorn 707c6966-dadd-49fa-aff6-87c654dfc09d EU launches probe into Apple, Google, Meta over violation of Digital Markets Act Crypto News

The European Commission has announced a non-compliance investigation into practices of Apple, Meta, Amazon and Alphabet — the parent company of Google — under its Digital Markets Act (DMA). 

According to a statement released on March 25, “the Commission suspects that the measures put in place by these gatekeepers fall short of effective compliance of their obligations under the DMA.”

Source: The European Commission

More specifically, the EU antitrust regulators have targeted Alphabet’s rules on “steering” in its Google Play store and self-preferencing on Google Search, Apple’s rules on steering in the App Store and the choice screen for Safari, along with Meta’s “pay or consent model”.

Additionally, the Commission said it is looking into steps relating to Apple’s new fee structure for alternative app stores and Amazon’s ranking practices on its marketplace.

It ordered the companies to keep particular documents to monitor the “effective implementation and compliance” with their obligations.

The proceedings will have 12 months to conclude, and in the case of infringement, fines of up to 10% of the company’s total worldwide turnover could be imposed by the Commission.

It said systematic infringement may oblige the “gatekeeper” to sell off parts of the company or be banned from acquiring additional services.

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The EU’s DMA is a piece of legislation to create “contestable” and fair markets in the digital sector. 

It should serve as a regulator for “gatekeepers,” which it defines as “large digital platforms that provide an important gateway between business users and consumers, whose position can grant them the power to create a bottleneck in the digital economy.”

According to the Commission, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance — TikTok’s parent company — Meta and Microsoft are designated as the six gatekeepers under the DMA.

These companies had until March 7 to fully comply with DMA requirements.

This recent investigation follows a lawsuit filed by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) on Mar. 21 against Apple, claiming that its app market rules and “monopoly” illegally throttled competition and suffocated innovation.

It also alleges that Apple has a monopoly in the smartphone market and “‘forces’ developers to use its payment system to lock in both developers and users on its platform.”

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