Tech giants face antitrust charges: Apple, Meta, and Alphabet under scrutiny

European Commission aims to prevent the tech giants from misusing the market power
European flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. — Reuters
European flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. — Reuters 

The European Commission has filed antitrust charges against some of the tech industry's biggest giants, including Apple, Meta, and Alphabet, accusing them of violating the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA). This significant move follows investigations launched earlier this year into the companies' compliance with the DMA, which seeks to control "gatekeeper" firms and ensure fair competition in the online marketplace.

The DMA, which came into effect in March, designates six companies — Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance (TikTok's owner), Meta, and Microsoft — as "gatekeepers." These companies must comply with rules related to certain "core platform services," including online advertising, cloud computing, and social media.

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The European Commission is currently investigating whether these companies have violated the DMA's regulations, which aim to prevent them from misusing their market power to harm competitors and consumers.

The EU's antitrust regulator, Margrethe Vestager, has emphasised the need for stricter regulation of the tech industry. "We need to ensure that these companies comply with our rules and do not abuse their power to the detriment of consumers and competitors," she stated.

The steps taken by the European Commission against Apple, Meta, and Alphabet highlight a significant challenge to these companies' efforts to maintain their market dominance. The companies will need to convince regulators that they will comply with the DMA's rules and not misuse their market power.