EU Regulators Focus on Apple, Alphabet, and Qualcomm – A Regulatory Spotlight EU Regulators Focus on Apple, Alphabet, and Qualcomm – A Regulatory Spotlight

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By Ronald Tech

Tech Giants Engage with EU Antitrust Chief

Top executives from Apple Inc, Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc, and Qualcomm Inc have recently met with EU Antitrust Chief Margrethe Vestager. These discussions formed part of Vestager’s ongoing dialogue with tech leaders and focused on European digital regulations, particularly the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and general competition policies.

Focus Areas of the Meetings

In her meeting with Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, Vestager addressed the need for Apple to allow app distribution outside its AppStore. Discussions also centered around ongoing competition cases, such as those involving Apple Music. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google, discussed topics including the design of choice screens and Google’s approach to self-preferencing about the DMA, as well as the Google ad tech antitrust case.

Key Discussions and Implications

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) has been central to these talks, designating companies with over 45 million monthly active users and a market capitalization of 75 billion euros as “gatekeepers.” These gatekeepers must adhere to specific regulations, such as making their messaging apps interoperable with competitors’ apps and allowing users to choose which apps to pre-install on their devices. Vestager also emphasized the significance of chips beyond digital transition, underlining their importance to the EU’s economic security.

Shaping the Operations of Tech Companies in the EU

These meetings and discussions play an integral role in shaping how major tech companies operate within the EU, ensuring compliance with its evolving digital and competition regulations. The EU regulators have a history of taking a firm stance with Big Tech companies, imposing hefty fines on firms like Google and Microsoft Corp for flouting antitrust norms and scrutinizing big merger deals.

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EU Regulatory History with Tech Companies

Companies like Microsoft have faced regulatory scrutiny for allegedly abusing their influence by bundling their applications. Additionally, significant merger agreements have come under the EU’s radar, indicating the close watch on pivotal market moves.

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