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Apple’s App Store, Meta’s AI Assistant Face Challenges in Europe

EU, TechReg, regulations

Two American tech giants are reportedly facing new regulatory challenges in Europe.

One case involves Apple’s App Store, while the other centers on Meta’s artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, Meta AI.

The Financial Times (FT) reported Friday (June 14) that the European Commision (EC) will bring charges against Apple after determining that the company is not complying with a requirement that it allow app developers to direct users to offers available outside Apple’s App Store without charging them fees. The FT report cited unnamed sources.

If the charges are in fact brought against Apple, it could be the first time the EC has done so under the recently implemented Digital Markets Act (DMA), according to the report. The EC said in March that it was using its powers under the DMA to investigate Apple, Alphabet and Meta.

The report added that the regulators have only made preliminary findings, that they could reassess any final decision if Apple changes its practices, and that the timing of any decision could change.

Apple provided the FT with a statement saying: “We’re confident our plan complies with the DMA, and we’ll continue to constructively engage with the European Commission as they conduct their investigations.”

As for Meta, it said in a Friday update to an earlier blog post that it is pausing its planned launch of its AI assistant, Meta AI, in Europe after the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), on behalf of the European data protection authorities (DPAs), asked it to delay training its large language models (LLMs) with content shared by adults on Meta’s Facebook and Instagram platforms.

The company said in the update that it was “disappointed” by the request, that it had incorporated feedback from the European DPAs and that the request marks “a step backwards for European innovation.”

“We are committed to bringing Meta AI, along with the models that power it, to more people around the world, including in Europe,” Meta said in the update. “But, put simply, without including local information we’d only be able to offer people a second-rate experience. This means we aren’t able to launch Meta AI in Europe at the moment.”