Apple, Meta, and Google targeted by EU in DMA non-compliance investigations

The European Commission is opening five non-compliance investigations into how Apple, Google, and Meta are complying with its new Digital Markets Act antitrust rules, the regulator announced today. “We suspect that the suggested solutions put forward by the three companies do not fully comply with the DMA,” the EU’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. “We will now investigate the companies’ compliance with the DMA, to ensure open and contestable digital markets in Europe.”

In particular, the Commission plans to investigate Google and Apple’s anti-steering rules in their app stores and whether Google is guilty of self-preferencing its own services within its search engine. Apple’s browser choice screen for iOS is also being investigated as well as Meta’s “pay or consent model” for ad targeting. In a press conference, the Commission said it plans to conclude the investigations in the next 12 months.

Additionally, the EU regulator is also taking steps to look into the fee structure Apple announced for distributing apps outside of the App Store, as well as whether Amazon is self-preferencing its own products on its store.

Earlier this month, the six major tech companies designated as gatekeepers under the DMA had to start complying with its rules. These include having to give customers the option of changing default apps and uninstalling the gatekeeper’s pre-installed applications, a ban on ranking a gatekeeper’s first-party services higher than rivals, and allowing third-party app stores.

The EU’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager previously indicated to Reuters that the Commission would be taking a closer look at how Apple is complying with the regulation over concerns that it may “de facto not make it in any way attractive to use the benefits of the DMA.”

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