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

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Meta Platforms (META.O) said on Monday it will offer users in Europe a subscription plan to use Facebook and Instagram without advertisements to comply with the European Union regulations.

The monthly subscription plans for users in the EU, European Economic Area and Switzerland, will cost 9.99 euros ($10.58) for web users, while iOS and Android users will have to shell out 12.99 euros a month.

The EU regulations threaten to curb Meta’s ability to personalize ads for users without their consent and hurt its major revenue source.

The world’s most popular social media network has been under antitrust pressure in the EU. In July, it lost its fight against a German data curb order as Europe’s top court backed the German antitrust watchdog’s power to also investigate privacy breaches.

Offering a choice between a free, ad-supported plan and an ad-free paid subscription might lead to users opting for the former, helping Meta to comply with the regulations without affecting its ad business.

Meta was fined 390 million euros earlier this year by Ireland’s Data Privacy Commissioner, and was told it cannot use the so-called “contract” as a legal basis to send users ads based on their online activity.

The company later said it intended to ask users in the EU for their consent before allowing businesses to target ads in order to address evolving regulatory requirements in the region.

($1 = 0.9446 euros)

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