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EU will investigate Apple, Google and Meta for violation of competition laws

EU will investigate Apple, Google and Meta for violation of competition laws

The European Comissionthe executive arm of the EU, decided to show its muscles and announced the opening of an investigation against three technology giants for alleged violation of competition rules.

In a statement, the Commission expressed its suspicion that Apple, Alphabet (Google) and Meta (Facebook, Instagram) have not adopted the necessary measures to effectively adapt to the new Digital Markets Law (LMD), which regulates operations of those platforms.

The European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said that “We are not convinced that the solutions of Alphabet, Apple and Meta respect their obligations with a fairer digital space for citizens and companies of Europe”.

Since March 7, six large companies – Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Bytedance (TikTok), Meta and Microsoft – were considered “gatekeepers” and must adopt special measures to adapt to the LMD.

Under the LMD rules, the Commission can impose heavy fines on platforms that do not comply with the law, sanctions that can reach 10% of global profits and can reach twenty% in cases of proven recidivism.

In extreme cases, the legislation grants the European Commission the power to determine the division of a company.

The core lobbyists for these companies, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), immediately criticized the EU’s haste in announcing the investigations.

Announce investigations “Just a few days after the compliance deadline, it calls into question the idea that companies and the European Commission will work together to implement the WFD successfully,” said Daniel Friedlaender, head of the CCIA for Europe.

Ad “sends a worrying signal that the EU could rush to launch investigations without knowing what it is investigating,” he added.

Margrethe Vestager, vice-president of the Commission and responsible for competition in the bloc, stated categorically that “definitely” There has been no rush in opening investigations.

The Commission’s statement said that in the cases of Apple and Google the investigations focus on their respective application markets (App Store and Google Play), to verify whether the companies adapted their operating models to operate without restrictions or limitations.

In addition, Google is suspected of favoring its own products, such as Google Shopping or Google Flights, to the detriment of competing companies.

In the case of Meta, the Commission will investigate the new operating model, which presents users with the option of paying a monthly fee to prevent the firm from using personal data in advertising design.

Changes in Google

In a note, Google’s Competition Director, Oliver Bethell, stated that the firm had introduced changes in the operation of its services, but announced that “To comply with the Digital Markets Act, we have introduced significant changes to the operation of our services in Europe. We have engaged with the European Commission, stakeholders and third parties (…) to balance conflicting needs within the ecosystem. “We will continue to defend our approach in the coming months,” said.

The company, however, assured that its Android operating system has options and flexibility that are not found in other platforms, such as the possibility for users to have several application stores and to download applications in various ways. It also stated that it has implemented changes to its search systems, including the introduction of units dedicated to comparison services.

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Source: Gestion

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