Home EU could soon charge Meta over ‘pay or consent’ model

EU could soon charge Meta over ‘pay or consent’ model


  • The EU is set to charge Meta with breaking its Digital Markets Act, according to a Financial Times report.
  • Regulators are concerned about Meta’s 'pay or content' model, which may force users to consent to data tracking.
  • Apple was recently charged with breaching the same EU tech rules, highlighting the union's efforts to regulate Big Tech.

The European Union is set to charge Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, with breaking its landmark Digital Markets Act.

The Financial Times on Monday (July 1) citeds people with direct knowledge of the matter with preliminary findings to be issued this week. According to the report, regulators have concerns about Meta’s ‘pay or content’ model.

It was back in November when Mark Zuckerberg’s company launched the no-ads subscription service for Facebook and Instagram. This was said to track the users who consented which resulted in them getting a free service which is funded by advertising revenues or they’d have to pay not to have their data shared.

According to the Financial Times, the regulators are soon expected to say that the choice given by Meta in their new model gives users a false alternative, with the financial barrier forcing them to consent. This means their personal data is being tracked for advertising purposes.

The publishers’ source, who is described as ‘being familiar with the EU’s thinking,’ said consumers needed to receive ‘an equivalent offer.’

While the report believes the move from the European Union will happen shortly, they haven’t yet publicly made a statement or confirmed nor denied the rumor.

Apple has already been charged with breaching EU rules

It wouldn’t be the first time the political union has found someone to have breached the bloc’s tech rules as Apple was charged with breaching the rules just last week (June 24.)

The investigation into Apple launched in March and this charge is the first by the Commission under the new Digital Markets Act which aims to rein in the power of Big Tech and level out the playing field.

Apple’s new terms fell short of complying with the DMA which could see them face a hefty fine if they don’t modify business terms. The fine could be as much as 10% of the company’s global annual turnover.

EU antitrust chief Magrethe Vestager was reported by Reuters as saying: “As they stand, we think that these new terms do not allow app developers to communicate freely with their end users, and to conclude contracts with them.”

Featured Image: Photo by Julio Lopez on Unsplash

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Sophie Atkinson
Tech Journalist

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business,…

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