EU investigates 3 US tech giants under new digital law

The European Union has launched probes into Apple, Meta Platforms and Google's parent company, Alphabet, on suspicion of violating the bloc's new legislation aimed at ensuring fair competition in the digital market.

The European Commission announced the investigations on Monday. The three firms could face hefty fines if they are found guilty of violating the Digital Markets Act, or DMA, which took full effect on March 7.

This comes even after the companies announced a review of their services.

The commission said it is concerned that the measures implemented by Alphabet and Apple "may not be fully compliant as they impose various restrictions and limitations." It said the companies constrain app developers' ability to "freely communicate and promote offers and directly conclude contracts."

The commission has also raised questions about Meta's "pay or consent" model, which forces users to pay for an ad-free experience or consent to being tracked and profiled.

The commission said it intends to conclude the probes within 12 months. If the tech firms are found to have breached the act, the commission can impose fines of up to 10 percent of their total worldwide turnover.

Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager told reporters that the EU hasn't endorsed all measures implemented by other platforms not subject to the probes. She says the commission will continue to use "all available tools" to ensure that the objectives of the DMA are achieved.