EU frees iMessage and Bing from regulations

The European Union’s recent investigation has concluded that Apple’s iMessage will not be required to comply with interoperability rules with other messaging platforms under the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). This finding puts iMessage and Microsoft’s Bing search engine outside of strict regulations aimed at services provided by so-called digital “gatekeepers,” which include big tech companies like Apple, Meta, Google, Amazon and TikTok.

Both Apple and Microsoft have expressed satisfaction with the decision not to be designated as core platform services.

EU decision on iMessage and Bing

The investigation determined that neither iMessage nor Bing have a dominant position that justifies their inclusion under the DMA rules. Both Apple and Microsoft have expressed satisfaction with the decision not to be designated as core platform services, which would have required them to make significant changes to their operations.

The DMA legislation would have required Apple to make iMessage available on other platforms.

Implications of DMA regulation

The DMA legislation would have required Apple to make iMessage available on other platforms, allowing Meta apps like WhatsApp or Messenger to apply to interoperate with the iMessage framework within the EU. However, the investigation revealed that iMessage is not widely used by businesses, which contributed to its exclusion from this regulation.

Mandatory changes to the Apple Apps ecosystem

Despite the conclusion of the iMessage investigation, the DMA still forces Apple to make major changes to its app ecosystem within the European Union. For example, in the upcoming iOS 17.4 update, updates will be rolled out that will allow iPhone and iPad users to download and install apps outside of the App Store, through alternative app marketplaces.

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