EU Launches First Probes Against Apple, Google, Meta

EU Launches First Probes Against Apple, Google, Meta

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The European Union launched investigations on Monday against Apple, Google parent Alphabet, and Meta, marking the first-ever probes under the sweeping Digital Markets Act. These investigations have the potential to result in substantial fines for the US tech giants.

The EU’s landmark Digital Markets Act, which came into effect on March 7, designated six firms as market “gatekeepers,” including Amazon, TikTok owner ByteDance, and Microsoft. These companies are required to adhere to the new regulations.

Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, expressed doubts about whether Alphabet, Apple, and Meta have fulfilled their obligations to create a fairer and more open digital environment for European citizens and businesses.

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The European Commission, the EU’s antitrust regulator, announced the probes, stating that they suspect the measures implemented by the firms so far do not meet the standards of effective compliance.

One of the major tech lobbying groups, CCIA, which counts the three targeted giants among its members, criticized the probes, accusing the EU of acting hastily.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager defended the investigations, stating that regulators did not rush into probing the companies.

While acknowledging some changes initiated by the companies, senior EU officials have suggested that these measures may not go far enough.

Under the new regulations, the European Commission has the authority to impose fines of up to 10 percent of a company’s total global turnover. For repeat violations, this fine can be increased to up to 20 percent. In severe cases, the EU has the power to mandate the breakup of companies.

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