The European Union will investigate Apple, Google and Meta for violating competition rules

The European Union will investigate Apple, Google and Meta for violating competition rules

In a new chapter on technological regulationthe European Union announced that it will investigate Apple, Alphabet Google and Meta Platforms for possible violations of the Digital Markets Law. If found guilty, violations could result in fines of up to 10% of the global annual turnover of companies.

The rule came into force on last March 7 and obliges six companies, considered “access gatekeepers” – who provide services such as search engines, social networksand chat apps used by other companies -, to comply with guidelines to guarantee the equality of competition and offer more options for users. The deadline to complete the investigation is one year.

Apple, Google and Meta in the EU’s crosshairs

The new one Digital Markets Law It came into effect on March 7 and has already caused the first stir in Europe. The purpose of the standard is to guarantee various digital platforms behave in a manner equitable online, to ensure fair competition.


Apple, Google and Meta, the “gatekeepers” in the crosshairs of the European Union.

Along these lines, the law determines a category called “access gatekeepers“, for all those companies that have; a strong economic position in the European market; a solid intermediary positionwith contact with a wide user base; a entrenched position and durable in the marketstable over time.

So it is that Apple, Alphabet Google and Meta Platforms are considered “access gatekeepers” due to their characteristics. Almost 20 days after the application of the law, the European Commission announced that it will investigate these digital platforms for possible violations of the Digital Markets Law.

Specifically, the EU competition body will investigate Alphabet’s rules on Google Play and of self-preferences in Google Searchthose of Manzana about in the App Store and the Safari choice screen and the “payment or consent model” of Goal. Violations resulting from the investigation may result in fines of up to 10% of the billing global annual of the companies, and up to a twenty% in it case of recidivism.

Thierry Bretonhead of EU Industry, was asked about the speed with which the investigation process was opened and was firm in his response: “The law is the law. We can’t sit and wait“.

The EU Executive intends to conclude the investigations within the period of one year established in the WFD. Furthermore, companies have already been ordered to keep certain documentswhich will allow them to access pertinent information in their investigations.

The defense of Apple, Google and Meta

Given the accusations and the opening of the investigation, different sources from the three giants of the digital industry They provided more details about the companies’ positions. The rapid start of the investigation is one of the companies’ main defenses if we take into account that the law was passed just 18 days ago.

From Goalan official spokesperson for the company run by Mark Zuckerberg assured that the company was “striving to comply with the guidelines of the law“. “Subscriptions as an alternative to advertising are a well-established business model in many sectors. We design ‘Subscription for No Ads’ to address several overlapping regulatory obligations, including the LMD,” the Meta spokesperson detailed.

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The “gatekeepers” will have to submit modifications to comply with the new law.


For its part, since Google They claimed to have already introduced significant changes in their services to comply with the new Digital Markets Law. Furthermore, from the company responsible for the most used search engine worldwide, they assured that They will defend their position during the next months.

Finally, Apple did not give further statements on the matter and, from the company, they simply reaffirmed that they trust that their plan complies with the new law. In the case of the manzanita brand, the European Comission will investigate the Apple’s new fee structure for alternative app stores and Amazon’s ranking practices in its marketplace.

The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) is an international non-profit organization representing the information and communications technology industries. From this entity, they immediately criticized the announcement, accusing the EU of “rush” in announcing the investigations.

“Announce investigations just days after the compliance deadlinecalls into question the idea that companies and the European Commission will work together to implement the law successfully,” he said. Daniel Friedlaender, CCIA head for Europe. In addition, the official added that “the announcement sends a worrying signal that the EU could rush to initiate investigations without knowing what you are investigating“.

Source: Ambito

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