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EU Launches Investigations into Major Tech Firms for Potential Breaches of Digital Markets Act

Brussels, March 25, 2024, The Europe Today: The European Union (EU) has initiated investigations into some of the world’s largest tech corporations, including Meta, Apple, and Alphabet, over concerns regarding anti-competitive practices. These inquiries, announced by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager and industry head Thierry Breton on Monday, mark a significant escalation in the EU’s efforts to regulate the digital market.

The investigations center around potential violations of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a landmark legislation introduced by the EU in 2022 to address concerns of market dominance and unfair competition within the tech industry. Companies found guilty of breaching the DMA could face substantial fines, amounting to up to 10% of their annual turnover.

Among the six companies subjected to obligations under the DMA, Alphabet, Apple, and Meta have come under scrutiny for their business practices. Notably, these companies, along with Amazon, Microsoft, and ByteDance, constitute the world’s largest tech firms, despite none of them being headquartered in Europe. While five of the companies hail from the United States, ByteDance operates from Beijing.

The investigations come on the heels of the recent imposition of a €1.8 billion fine on Apple by the EU for violating competition laws in the music streaming sector. Additionally, Apple faces legal challenges in the United States, with accusations of monopolistic practices in the smartphone market.

In response to the investigations, Apple expressed a commitment to engaging constructively with the EU authorities. A spokesperson for the company affirmed their confidence in compliance with the Digital Markets Act, highlighting the incorporation of privacy and security measures for EU users and a willingness to collaborate with regulators.

Similarly, Meta, formerly Facebook, defended its business model, particularly its utilization of subscriptions as an alternative to traditional advertising. A Meta spokesperson reiterated the company’s adherence to regulatory obligations, including those outlined in the DMA, and pledged continued cooperation with the European Commission.

As the investigations unfold, the outcomes could have far-reaching implications for the regulatory landscape governing the global tech industry. The EU’s rigorous enforcement of the Digital Markets Act underscores its commitment to fostering fair competition and safeguarding consumer interests in the digital sphere.