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Meta accused of breaking European Union’s new digital rules

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European Union (EU) regulators accused Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta of violating the new Digital Markets Act. On Monday, July 1, the EU said Meta forced users to choose between seeing ads or paying to avoid them.

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Meta started the “pay or consent” option for European users in November after the EU’s top court ruled Meta had to get consent to show ads to users. 

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The European Commission — the EU’s executive arm — said preliminary findings of its investigation show Meta’s “pay or consent” model breaches the Digital Markets Act. The commission had opened the investigation not long after the Digital Markets Act went into effect in March. 

If EU regulators find Meta did break the rules, the company could face a fine of up to 10% of its worldwide revenue.

This makes Meta the second company to be hit with charges under the new Digital Markets Act. Last week, the EU accused Apple of failing to comply with the law. Regulators said Apple prevented app developers from pointing users to cheaper options than Apple’s app store.

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EUROPEAN UNION REGULATORS ARE ACCUSING FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM PARENT COMPANY META – OF VIOLATING THE NEW DIGITAL MARKETS ACT. 

THE EU SAYS META FORCED USERS TO CHOOSE BETWEEN SEEING ADS… OR PAYING TO NOT HAVE TO. 

META STARTED THE SO-CALLED “PAY OR CONSENT” OPTION FOR EUROPEAN USERS IN NOVEMBER – AFTER THE EUROPEAN UNION’S TOP COURT RULED META HAD TO GET CONSENT TO SHOW ADS TO USERS. 

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION –  THE EU’S EXECUTIVE ARM – SAID PRELIMINARY FINDINGS OF ITS INVESTIGATION SHOW META’S “PAY OR CONSENT” MODEL WAS IN BREACH OF THE DIGITAL MARKETS ACT. 

THE COMMISSION OPENED THE INVESTIGATION NOT LONG AFTER THE DIGITAL MARKETS ACT WENT INTO EFFECT IN MARCH. 

IF E-U REGULATORS FIND META DID BREAK THE RULES – THE COMPANY COULD FACE A FINE OF UP TO 10 PERCENT OF ITS WORLDWIDE REVENUE. 

THIS MAKES META THE SECOND COMPANY TO BE HIT WITH CHARGES UNDER THE NEW DIGITAL MARKETS ACT. 

LAST WEEK – THE E-U ACCUSED APPLE OF FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW BY PREVENTING APP DEVELOPERS FROM FREELY DIRECTING CUSTOMERS TO CHEAPER WAYS TO MAKE PURCHASED THAN ITS OWN APP STORE.