Digital regulation: EU investigates Apple, Meta and Alphabet

Maintain pressure. While the digital giants had until March 7 to comply with the new European regulation on digital markets – the Digital Market Act (DMA) – the Commission wants to make an impact. On Monday, March 25, it began five proceedings against Apple, Alphabet and Meta, which it suspects have not taken full advantage of the new rules.

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Before adopting the DMA, the Commission had not remained inactive in the face of these hyper-powerful groups, with anti-competitive practices, without the fines it imposed on them, sometimes billions of euros, having made it possible to change the situation. “The DMA has been in force for eighteen days and we can already see more changes in Big Tech than in ten years”says Thierry Breton today.

But “We are not convinced that Alphabet, Apple and Meta comply with their obligations”, continues the Internal Market Commissioner. With less than three months to go before the European elections, scheduled for June 6-9, he also wants to show citizens a concrete Europe that works for them.

Uninstall apps easily

The beginning of these investigations in such a short time “It risks confirming industry fears that the process will become politicized”, judges the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA). The technology lobby denounces the “run” of the community executive, who suspects “rushing to investigate without knowing what (He) survey “.

“It’s not a rush, it’s totally timely”, responds Margrethe Vestager, competition commissioner. These investigations, continues the Dane, are, on the other hand, “iconic” of the DMA, whose objective is to facilitate innovation in Europe while ensuring healthy competition capable of reducing prices and offering consumers choice.

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Alphabet and Apple are suspected of limiting their app stores – Google Play for the former, App Store for the latter. “the ability of developers to freely communicate and promote their offers and to enter into contracts directly” with end users, “in particular by imposing various fees”.

Another complaint made against the Apple firm: it would not respect the obligation to offer a means to easily uninstall applications – “I like pictures”, specifies Margrethe Vestager – or the browser (Safari) that appears, by default, on the screens of its users. For its part, Alphabet is suspected of favoring its own services (Google Shopping, Google Flights or Google Hotels) when a search is performed on its search engine.

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