iMessage could fall under the scrutiny of the Digital Markets Act… because it is not popular enough in Europe

Maxence Glineur

December 8, 2023 at 6:32 a.m.


iMessage © © sdx15 / Shutterstock

Is iMessage evading the DMA? © sdx15 / Shutterstock

Apple would have won its case, and would put its instant messaging service beyond the reach of the new regulations which will soon come into force on the Old Continent.

The European Union has put some serious stones in the boots of the tech giants. Indeed, to mitigate the impact of their dominant position on this sector, regulators have decided to force them to open their platforms to competition.

However, while the DMA rules clearly define Meta and Amazon, for example, as “ access controllers », other cases are more debatable.

Professionals don’t use iMessage enough

In early September, Microsoft and Apple raised eyebrows by suggesting that some of their services should not be subject to DMA rules. If the Redmond company intends to protect Bing in particular, the Cupertino company is more concerned about the fate of iMessage. Indeed, the latter would not be popular enough to be considered “ access controller ”, and should therefore not have to open up to other messaging services such as WhatsApp or Messenger.

To verify these allegations, the European Commission has launched a market investigation, which is expected to last five months and end in February 2024. For now, according to sources familiar with the matter, Apple is in the process of gaining of cause. A miracle that would be possible thanks to, or because of, businesses. In fact, professionals would not use messaging enough, which would eliminate it from the list of services affected by the DMA. And this, despite its obvious popularity.

App Store © © Tada Images / Shutterstock

The European Union and Apple are not only looking at the case of iMessage © Tada Images / Shutterstock

Other services are affected by the protests

It remains to be seen whether the information that leaked from the investigation is accurate, and whether Apple’s adoption of the RCS format plays a role in the decisions. In any case, the company is not done with the Old Continent, since it recently took the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding the App Store. She doesn’t really want to open iOS to third-party app stores, and we’re still waiting to hear her arguments.

Apple and Microsoft are not the only ones to challenge the DMA’s decisions. Meta, in the case of Messenger and Facebook Marketplace, and ByteDance, owner of TikTok, are also part of this very select club which gives a little more work than expected to European officials. However, these beautiful people should perhaps hurry, because the new rules will come into force in March 2024.

Source : Bloomberg

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