Apple, Google, Meta under investigation by the European Union

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on Mar 25, 2024
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European Union just launched an investigation into Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META), Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL), and Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL). Shares of all three are in the red at writing.

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Why are Apple, Meta, and Google under investigation?

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The announced probe is the first one under the region’s Digital Markets Act that came into effect only recently.

What the European Commission is investigating include “Alphabet’s rules on steering in Google Play and self-preferencing in Google Search”.

Its probe relates also to “Apple’s rules on steering in the App store and the choice screen for Safari” while the executive arm of the European Union is investigating Meta Platform over its “pay or consent model”.

Note that $AAPL is the only one among these three that is already down versus the start of 2024.

 European Commission chief’s remarks on Monday

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Digital Markets Acts restricts the tech titans from disabling businesses from letting their users know of cheaper alternatives for their products or services outside of an app store. On Monday, Margrethe Vestager – chief of the European Commission said in a press conference:

The way that Apple and Alphabet have implemented DMA rules on anti-steering seems to be at odds with letter of the law. [Both] will still charge various recurring fees, and still limit steering.

The news arrives only weeks after the Commission announced a near $2.0 billion fine on Apple over abusing its dominance in music streaming as Invezz reported here.

In January, an advisor to the court also said that $2.7 billion fine the EU handed down to Google in 2017 should be upheld by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

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