Tech & Space
July 1, 2024
Less than
min read

Meta Faces EU Scrutiny Over Ad-Free Subscription Model

The European Commission has accused Meta of violating EU digital laws by requiring users to either pay for ad-free versions of Facebook and Instagram or consent to personalised data collection for advertising.
Meta Faces EU Scrutiny Over Ad-Free Subscription Model
Dima Solomin - Unsplash

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has come under fire from the European Commission for allegedly breaching the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA) with its "pay or consent" model. This model, introduced last year, offers users ad-free versions of the social media platforms for a monthly fee, while those who choose not to pay must allow their personal data to be used for personalised advertising.

The European Commission argues that this binary choice forces users to consent to data collection and does not offer a less personalised but equivalent version of the services. To comply with the DMA, Meta must introduce alternative options that use less personal data while still providing comparable functionality.

Meta defends its model, stating that it was designed to adhere to regulatory obligations, including the DMA. The company maintains that subscriptions are a common business model in various industries and that its approach is compliant.

Legal experts highlight the core issue as whether users genuinely consent to data collection when faced with the choice of paying or allowing their data to be used for advertising. The European Commission argues that Meta should offer a less personalised option that does not rely on personal data collection.

The investigation into Meta's practices is ongoing, with a deadline for completion by March next year. If found in violation of the DMA, Meta could face a substantial fine of up to 10% of its global turnover, potentially amounting to billions of dollars. This development follows a similar accusation against Apple for restricting competition on its app store.

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