EU tech regulations continue to pose challenges for social media providers, though this one seems more like fine-tuning, in terms of the specific regulations included within the latest requirements.
Today, Meta has launched a challenge against the EU’s new “supervisory fee”, which EU officials are implementing as a means to cover their costs in monitoring each platform’s compliance with its latest rules and regulations.
In other words, the EU is seeking to force the big tech platforms to pay for their own policing, in order to ensure that they stick to the new rules in the region. Which is a little odd in itself, in that the companies will be paying for the process that could also result in their own fines. But that’s the way that it’s currently structured.
And Meta does accept that, in principle, but what Meta isn’t so happy about is the fee structure for this process, which will see each platform charged up to 0.05% of its annual worldwide net income to fund this monitoring.
Which Meta says is not equitable in practical application.
As explained by Meta:
"Currently, companies that record a loss don't have to pay, even if they have a large user base or represent a greater regulatory burden, which means some companies pay nothing, leaving others to pay a disproportionate amount of the total."
Indeed, under this system, the main driver of how much each company pays is based on their business performance, not their audience size, which will unfairly penalize the more successful organizations, for no reason other than they have the resources available.
TikTok is also challenging the same regulation, arguing that less revenue-positive platforms, including X, Snapchat, and Pinterest, could escape paying altogether, with the bigger players then left to cover the bill.
It’s another technicality within the broader EU regulatory framework, which as noted, has instituted a broad range of changes for each of the major social apps.
Already, each platform needs to facilitate various EU-specific parameters, which have impacted all users to come degree. Pop-ups alerting users to data collection have been the main, consumer-facing element, but the platforms have also had to re-build their internal processes to facilitate various EU exceptions, and ensure compliance with the evolving rules.
The EU, meanwhile, is looking to ensure they offer more protection for users, in any way that they can, though the actual benefit, in terms of take-up, is another point of debate.
In any event, Meta seems to be within its rights to challenge this new provision, and I suspect that a new agreement will eventually be established to cover this case.