(Reuters) -European regulators have launched a series of probes into Big Tech. In a latest move, Meta's Facebook and Instagram could face hefty fines under the EU's Digital Services Act (DSA) due to concerns they had not adequately addressed risks to children.

Here are some of the actions taken by European watchdogs against big technology companies:


Meta Platforms' Facebook and Instagram will be investigated for potential breaches of EU online content rules relating to child safety, the European Commission said on May 16, a move that could lead to hefty fines.

The EC said in April Facebook and Instagram had failed to tackle disinformation and deceptive advertising in the run-up to European Parliament elections, as it opened an investigation into suspected breaches of the DSA.

EU antitrust regulators had said on March 25 that Apple, Meta and Alphabet's Google would be investigated for potential breaches of the DMA. Violations could result in fines of as much as 10% of the companies' global annual turnover.

The EC declined to comment at the time, while Apple, Meta and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In September 2023, the EU picked out 22 so-called "gatekeeper" services run by Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft and TikTok owner ByteDance, giving them six months to comply with the provisions of the DMA, legislation meant to make it easier for European users to move between competing services.

In April, EU antitrust regulators designated Apple's operating system for iPads as a gatekeeper under the DMA.

Meta Platforms and ByteDance's TikTok both appealed against the "gatekeeper" status in November, with the latter losing a bid to suspend its designation in February. Apple said in April it would continue to constructively engage with the EC to comply with its tech rules.

Brussels fined Apple 1.84 billion euros ($2.00 billion) on March 4, the iPhone maker's first ever EU antitrust penalty, following a 2019 complaint from Spotify. Apple said it would challenge the EU decision in court.

An advisor to Europe's top court said on Jan. 11 the court should uphold Google's EU antitrust fine of 2.42 billion euros ($2.63 billion). The EC fined the company in 2017 for using its own price comparison shopping service to gain an unfair advantage over smaller European rivals.

The EC is probing whether Microsoft is preventing customers from relying on certain security software provided by its competitors, according to a document that regulators sent to at least one rival of the company in January, seen by Reuters.

EU antitrust regulators said in the same month that Microsoft's investment of more than $10 billion in ChatGPT maker OpenAI may be subject to EU merger rules, after a similar warning from the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in December.

In November, EU antitrust regulators asked Microsoft's rivals whether the U.S. software giant's proposal to unbundle its chat and video app Teams from its Office product was sufficient to address their concerns, after the EC launched an investigation into its Office and Teams tie-up in July 2023.


Britain's media regulator in October 2023 asked the CMA to investigate Amazon and Microsoft's dominance of the UK cloud market, citing features that made it more difficult for businesses to switch or mix and match cloud providers. The CMA will complete its investigation by April 2025.


France's competition watchdog on March 20 said it had fined Google 250 million euros ($271.8 million)for breaches linked to EU intellectual property rules in its relationship with media publishers.

The authority raided Nvidia's local offices last September, the Wall Street Journal reported. The watchdog had disclosed the raid but did not name the company beyond saying it was in the "graphics cards sector".

Nvidia declined to comment.

In July 2023, the watchdog said Apple may have violated regulations related to the utilisation of iPhone user data in advertising and could potentially misuse its dominant market position by imposing biased, unclear, and unfair conditions to handle user data.


Google has agreed to change its user data practices to end a German antitrust investigation aimed at curbing its data-driven market power, the German cartel office said on Oct. 5. Google's commitments would give users more choice on how their data was used across the company's platforms, the regulator said.


Italy's competition watchdog fined British American Tobacco (BAT) and Amazon in February a combined 7 million euros ($7.6 million) over misleading advertising for heated tobacco products.

Italy's antitrust agency said in May 2023 it had opened a probe into Apple for alleged abuse of its dominant position in the apps market.

In April 2023, it took measures against Meta over an alleged abuse of its position in the country, in a probe involving the rights to music posted on the group's platforms.


The Dutch privacy watchdog AP in April said it was recommending that government organisations should stop using Facebook as long as it is unclear what happens with personal data of users of the government's Facebook pages.

The Dutch competition regulator in October said it had rejected Apple's objections against fines of 50 million euros ($54.4 million) it had been given over a failure to comply with regulations aimed at limiting the dominant position of Apple's App Store. Apple will appeal the decision in Dutch courts.


A Spanish startup group issued a complaint about Microsoft's cloud practices to the country's antitrust regulator in May. The Spanish Startup Association, which represents more than 700 startups in Spain, cited several allegedly anti-competitive practices by Microsoft in recent years.

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(Compiled by Alessandro Parodi, Victor Goury-Laffont, Olivier Cherfan, Paolo Laudani and Enrico Sciacovelli in Gdansk; editing by Lucy Marks, Christina Fincher, Gerry Doyle and Milla Nissi)