EU Challenges Meta’s ‘Pay Or Consent’ Model in DMA


European Commission Finds Meta’s “Pay or Consent” Model in Breach of Digital Markets Act (DMA)

The European Commission has taken a firm stance against Meta’s advertising model, citing concerns about user choice and data control in the digital landscape. The Commission’s preliminary findings indicate that Meta’s “pay or consent” model violates the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a law aimed at preventing large online platforms from abusing their market power.

Under the DMA, platforms like Meta are required to obtain explicit consent from users before combining their data across different services. The law also mandates that users should have access to a basic version of the service even if they refuse consent for data collection and personalized ads.

Meta’s “pay or consent” model, which offers users a choice between subscribing for an ad-free version or accepting personalized ads in the free version, has come under fire for not providing a “less personalized” option and allegedly coercing consent from users. The Commission argues that users who choose not to consent should still have access to a service with reduced data collection for advertising purposes.

Meta now has the opportunity to respond to the Commission’s preliminary findings and defend its practices. The investigation is expected to conclude within a year, with potential penalties for non-compliance including hefty fines and forced business divestments.

This case sets a crucial precedent for how dominant platforms handle user data and privacy in an era of stricter regulations. The outcome of the investigation will have far-reaching implications for the digital economy and the protection of user privacy.

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