Meta Platforms Cuts Subscription Fee for Facebook and Instagram in Europe

Meta Platforms Cuts Subscription Fee for Facebook and Instagram/Reuters
Meta Platforms Cuts Subscription Fee for Facebook and Instagram/Reuters
Meta Platforms Cuts Subscription Fee for Facebook and Instagram/Reuters
Meta Platforms Cuts Subscription Fee for Facebook and Instagram/Reuters

Meta Platforms Cuts Subscription Fee for Facebook and Instagram in Europe

Meta Platforms Cuts Subscription Fee for Facebook and Instagram/Reuters

Meta Platforms Cuts Subscription Fee for Facebook and Instagram in Europe

Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has announced a significant reduction in its monthly subscription fee for users in Europe. The subscription fee, previously set at EUR 9.99, will now be nearly halved to EUR 5.99, aiming to address concerns raised by privacy and antitrust regulators.

The move comes in response to mounting criticism from privacy activists and consumer groups regarding Meta’s subscription service, which requires users to pay a fee to safeguard their privacy. Critics argue that such a model creates a ‘pay or okay’ approach, compelling users to consent to tracking in exchange for a free service.

Meta launched the subscription service last November to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which restricts the company’s ability to personalize advertisements without user consent, impacting its primary revenue stream.

Speaking at a European Commission hearing, Meta lawyer Tim Lamb emphasized the company’s commitment to addressing regulatory concerns and achieving a balance between EU privacy laws and the DMA’s requirements. He stated that the reduced subscription fee aims to provide users with high-quality services at an affordable price point.

However, critics remain skeptical about the ‘pay or okay’ approach, arguing that even a nominal fee influences users’ consent. They stress that true consent should be freely given, without any form of coercion or inducement.

The ongoing discussions between Meta and data protection authorities, particularly the Irish watchdog, seek to resolve these concerns and ensure compliance with the DMA. Users who opt to be tracked will continue to receive a free service supported by advertising revenues.

As regulatory scrutiny intensifies, Meta faces the risk of substantial fines for potential breaches of the DMA. The company remains committed to engaging with stakeholders and addressing regulatory challenges to establish a sustainable framework for its services in Europe.

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