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EU launches new infringement procedures against Apple, Alphabet and Meta

LThe proposed measures did not satisfy Brussels. This Monday, March 25, the European Commission opened investigations for “non-compliance” against Alphabet (Google), Apple and Meta (Facebook and Instagram). These new infringement procedures against the three American giants were announced by the European Digital Commissioner, Thierry Breton, and by Margrethe Vestager, Vice-President in charge of Competition, under the Digital Markets Regulation (DMA) entered into effective at the beginning of March. The tech lobby immediately cried out for “rush”.

“We are not convinced that Alphabet, Apple and Meta’s solutions comply with their obligations towards a fairer and more open digital space for European citizens and businesses. If our investigation were to lead to the conclusion that the regulation on digital markets is not fully respected, access controllers could face heavy fines,” warns Thierry Breton.


In detail, Alphabet is accused of continuing to show “self-favoritism” in Google search results by favoring its services, in particular to compare prices on hotels and plane tickets. Brussels is also not convinced by the iOS screen offering the choice to install a third-party browser nor by Apple’s measures to let the user download applications from alternative app stores or on the Web – with a tax still imposed on developers.

READ ALSO IPhone: Apple’s fortress threatened by an antitrust complaint in the United StatesThe Commission also denounces Meta’s “consent or pay” model, which does not “offer a real alternative” to Europeans, forced to pay to use Facebook and Instagram or to accept that their personal data is collected for advertising purposes.

“Big tech” under pressure on both sides of the Atlantic

After long discussions, the EU adopted historic legislation in 2022 intended to prevent the abuse of dominant position by six tech giants: the five former American Gafam (Google/Alphabet, Apple, Facebook/Meta, Amazon and Microsoft ) as well as the Chinese ByteDance (TikTok). Fines can go up to 10% of their global turnover, and up to 20% in the event of a repeat offense.

For the American giants, procedures are multiplying on both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe, Google had already been fined 2.4 billion euros in 2017. At the beginning of March, the Commission imposed a fine of 1.8 billion euros on Apple for “abuse of a dominant position” on the streaming music market after a complaint from Spotify – a decision Apple has appealed.

READ ALSO Margrethe Vestager: “Big Tech will no longer be able to “kill” the little ones” Across the Atlantic, Google’s antitrust trial, the most important since that of Microsoft more than 20 years ago, is due to enter its final phase next May. And while awaiting probable future action from the American justice system against Amazon, it is Apple which has been threatened since last week by a complaint from the government and 15 states. “Big tech” is no longer a dream.

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