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Apple, Meta, Google to face EU Digital Markets Act inquiries, sources say

Apple logo is visible in this image shot, August 22, 2022

BRUSSELS, March 21 (mod1s) - Apple (AAPL.O), opens new tab, Meta Platforms (META.O), opens new tab and Alphabet's (GOOGL.O), opens new tab Google are due to be probed for suspected breaches of the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA) that may lead to substantial penalties before the end of the year, according to persons with direct knowledge of the situation. 

The European Commission would likely announce the probes, either at the same time or one after the other fast, in the next days and deliver findings before EU antitrust leader Margrethe Vestager's tenure expires in November, they added.

DMA breaches might cost the corporations as much as 10% of their worldwide yearly revenue. The historic EU tech legislation mandates corporations to provide customers and competitors more alternatives to maintain a fair playing field. 

The Commission refused to comment. Apple, Meta and Google did not immediately reply to calls for comment. 

Earlier last week, Vestager in an interview told Reuters Apple and Meta's increased costs for their services may restrict consumers from enjoying the advantages of the DMA, and that this was going to be part of any inquiry.

She also singled out practices employed by certain corporations to criticize competing goods or services to deter people moving to them, saying it was irresponsible for them to do so. 

Vestager also said she intended to speed up any DMA investigations, aiming to have conclusions out ideally in six months so that consumers and applications developers can enjoy the advantages of the new regulations fast. Traditional EU antitrust inquiries in comparison take years.

Rivals of the three businesses have raised grievances with the EU competition regulator, arguing remedies promised by the corporations to re-wire their core platform services are insufficient. 

The DMA requires the three companies, as well as Microsoft (MSFT.O), opens new tab, (AMZN.O), opens new tab and TikTok owner ByteDance to allow users to remove any pre-installed software or app if they want, and to get users' consent to use their data across their various services or for personalised ads.

The corporations are not authorized to prefer their services or goods over competitors on their platforms. 

Bloomberg was the first to reveal the anticipated DMA probes against Apple, Meta and Google.


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