By Mauro Orru

The European Union launched an investigation into whether Meta Platforms breached its digital regulation when it comes to the protection of minors on Facebook and Instagram.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said Thursday that it had opened formal proceedings to assess if Meta breached the Digital Services Act, extensive legislation that requires large social-media platforms to take steps to deal with content that regulators view as harmful.

"We have concerns that Facebook and Instagram may stimulate behavioural addiction and that the methods of age verification that Meta has put in place on their services is not adequate and will now carry on an in-depth investigation," said Margrethe Vestager, the EU's competition czar.

Meta didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The maximum fine for a large online platform or search engine that breaks the rules in the Digital Services Act is set at 6% of its global revenue.

Write to Mauro Orru at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-16-24 0651ET