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Meta introduces ad-free plans for Instagram and Facebook in Europe

The logos of Facebook and Instagram and the words "Monthly subscription" are seen in this picture illustration taken January 19, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

To comply with European Union rules, Meta Platforms (META.O) said on Monday that it will provide customers in Europe with a subscription plan that allows them to browse Facebook and Instagram without ads.

For online users, the monthly membership plans cost 9.99 euros ($10.58) for users in the EU, European Economic Area, and Switzerland. For iOS and Android users, the monthly subscription plans cost 12.99 euros.

The EU restrictions pose a danger to Meta’s primary source of income by limiting its capacity to customize advertisements for users without their approval.

The EU has been putting pressure on the most popular social media network in the world about antitrust. It lost its battle against a German data restriction order in July when the European Court of Justice upheld the German antitrust watchdog’s authority to look into privacy violations as well.

By allowing consumers to choose between an ad-supported free plan and a premium membership with no ads, Meta may comply with the rules without changing its ad business.

The Data Privacy Commissioner of Ireland fined Meta 390 million euros earlier this year and informed the company that it could not use the alleged “contract” to justify sending people advertisements based on online behavior.

Later, the firm said that to comply with changing legislative requirements in the EU, it will need users’ agreement before enabling companies to target adverts.

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