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European Union Targets Big Tech In Antitrust Probe

The European Union (EU) is targeting big U.S. technology companies in a new antitrust probe.

Apple (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOG/GOOGL), and Meta Platforms (META) are being investigated for possibly violating Europe’s Digital Markets Act, according to antitrust regulators.

If found guilty, the companies could face big fines and other sanctions.

The Digital Markets Act, which went into effect on March 7 of this year, requires companies providing services such as search engines, social networks, and apps used by other businesses to ensure a level playing field and give users ample choice in the marketplace.

Fine could be as much as 10% of a company’s global annual profit, says the European Commission that is tasked with enforcing the new law.

The antitrust investigation is looking into Alphabet's self-preferencing on Google Search, Apple's rules in its App Store, and Meta's “pay or consent” model.

The European Commission is also investigating Apple's new fee structure for alternative app stores and Amazon's (AMZN) ranking practices on its online marketplace.

The European investigations are expected to take a year to complete.

Europe’s antitrust probe comes as the U.S. Justice Department also turns up the heat on big tech, announcing last week that it is suing Apple for anticompetitive practices.