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Meta offers to almost halve Facebook, Instagram monthly fees amid concerns


Meta offers to almost halve Facebook, Instagram monthly fees amid concerns

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Meta Platforms has offered to almost halve its monthly subscription fee for Facebook and Instagram to 5.99 euros from 9.99 euros, a senior Meta executive said on Tuesday, a move that aims to address concerns from both privacy and antitrust regulators.

The move came amid mounting criticism from privacy activists and consumer groups about Meta’s no-ads subscription service launched in Europe in November which critics say requires users to pay a fee to ensure their privacy.

Meta launched the service to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) which curbs its ability to personalise ads for users without their consent, hurting its major revenue source.

The company said the fee model seeks to balance the conflicting demands between EU privacy laws and the new tech rule DMA.

“We have wanted to accelerate that process for some time because we need to get to a steady state…so we have offered to drop the price from 9.99 to 5.99 for a single account and 4 euros for any additional accounts,” Meta lawyer Tim Lamb told a European Commission hearing.

“That is by far the lowest end of the range that any reasonable person should be paying for services of these quality, And I think that is a serious offer,” he said.

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“The regulatory uncertainty at the moment is out there and it needs to settle down quickly.”

The day-long hearing aims to give Meta’s users and third parties the opportunity to seek clarity on how it complies with the DMA.

Meta made the reduced offer to regulators earlier this year and is now in talks with data protection authorities, specifically the Irish watchdog, on the issue.

Users, who consent to be tracked, get a free service which is funded by advertising revenues.

Companies risk fines of as much as 10% of their annual global turnover for DMA breaches.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

 

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