In a series of high-profile meetings, Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s antitrust chief, engaged with top executives from major tech giants, including Apple, Alphabet (Google’s parent company), and Qualcomm. The discussions, centered around regulation and compliance with competition policies, took place on Friday and were later detailed by Vestager on the social media platform X.
Vestager’s communications adviser had previously announced her intention to hold talks with key industry players, including Apple, Alphabet, Broadcom, and Nvidia, with a particular focus on European digital regulation, notably the Digital Markets Act (DMA), and competition policy.
In her updates on X, Vestager provided insights into three distinct meetings with the heads of Apple, Alphabet, and Qualcomm.
Meeting with Apple’s Tim Cook: Addressing App Distribution and Ongoing Competition Cases
During her meeting with Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, Vestager delved into various topics, with a spotlight on Apple’s responsibility to enable the distribution of its applications beyond the confines of its proprietary AppStore. Additionally, discussions encompassed ongoing competition cases, prominently the one involving Apple’s music streaming service, Apple Music.
The EU’s regulatory scrutiny in this domain highlights a growing concern for ensuring fair competition and open market access within the digital ecosystem.
Dialogue with Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai: DMA Compliance and Google Adtech Antitrust Case
Vestager engaged with Sundar Pichai, the Chief Executive of Alphabet and Google, in discussions that covered multiple aspects of compliance with the Digital Markets Act (DMA). Under the DMA, companies meeting specific criteria, such as having over 45 million monthly active users and a market capitalization of €75 billion ($82 billion), are designated as gatekeepers.
These gatekeepers are obligated to facilitate interoperability of messaging apps with rivals and allow users to decide which applications should come pre-installed on their devices. Vestager’s talks with Pichai included topics like the design of choice screens, concerns related to self-preferencing under the DMA, and the ongoing Google adtech antitrust case.
The meetings underscore the EU’s commitment to maintaining a competitive and fair digital market, ensuring that industry leaders comply with evolving regulatory frameworks aimed at fostering innovation, consumer choice, and market diversity. As Vestager continues her engagements with tech industry leaders, the outcomes of these discussions are likely to have a significant impact on the future landscape of digital regulation in Europe.