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Meta lowers Facebook and Instagram subscription charges in response to privacy and antitrust issues: Report

The move comes as Meta faces criticism for its no-ads subscription service in Europe.

According to a report on Reuters, Meta Platforms has offered to reduce its monthly subscription charge for Facebook and Instagram to 5.99 euros from 9.99 euros to address concerns from antitrust and privacy regulators.

The move comes in response to growing criticism of Meta's no-ads subscription service in Europe from consumer advocacy organisations and privacy advocates.

Meta introduced the service in November to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which limits the company's ability to personalise ads without consumers' knowledge and negatively impacts its main source of income. The price model aims to strike a compromise between the DMA and EU privacy rules.

At a European Commission hearing, Meta's lawyer Tim Lamb stated that the cost is not the problem, as even a small charge of 1.99 euros or less causes 99.9% of respondents to click "yes" when only 3-10% actually desire advertisements. Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems cited EU privacy laws and GDPR, stating that the 'pay or okay' tactic aims to persuade consumers to click okay even when it isn't a free and informed decision.

Meta is currently in discussions with data protection authorities, particularly the Irish agency, after presenting the lowered offer to regulators earlier this year. When users agree to be tracked, they receive a free service paid for by advertising. Businesses that violate DMAs face fines equal to 10% of their yearly worldwide revenue.

Image Credits: Reuters

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