Meta could get slapped with a massive fine for violating the EU's Digital Markets Act

Apple is already in hot water with the bloc.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

In late June, the European Union shared its preliminary findings that Apple had violated the Digital Markets Act (DMA) — the bloc's first regulatory action since the law took effect in March. Now, it's Meta's turn, with the EU announcing Facebook and Instagram's owner has also breached the DMA. The European Commission first opened investigations into Apple, Meta and Google's parent company, Alphabet, shortly after the DMA became law.

The Commission's preliminary findings on Meta center around concerns about Meta's "consent or pay" model. Meta currently gives users the choice to have free access to its apps and consent to data sharing or pay to prohibit its collection. The Commission's statement argues that Meta "Does not allow users to opt for a service that uses less of their personal data but is otherwise equivalent to the 'personalised ads' based service," Furthermore, Meta doesn't "allow users to exercise their right to freely consent to the combination of their personal data."

Echoing past statements, the Commission called for Meta to create an "equivalent alternative" that requires no fee payment. The EU's regulatory body has until late March 2025 — one year after opening its investigation — to make a final decision. If Meta is found guilty of violating the DMA, it could owe a fine equal to ten percent of its annual global revenue.

Meta has yet to concede any wrongdoing. "Subscription for no ads follows the direction of the highest court in Europe and complies with the DMA. We look forward to further constructive dialogue with the European Commission to bring this investigation to a close," Meta said in a statement.