PWSHub News

Apple won’t have to make iMessage work with other messaging services, EU says

Apple’s blue bubbles are safe from interlopers for now. Following an investigation, European Union officials have determined that iMessage — along with Microsoft's Bing, Edge and Microsoft Advertising — don't hold a dominant enough position in their respective markets to be subject to stricter regulation under the Digital Markets Act. Were iMessage to be brought under the DMA rules, Apple would need to make it interoperable with other messaging services.

The three Microsoft products and iMessage meet the quantitative thresholds for regulation under the DMA. Apple and Microsoft easily clear the law's revenue and market capitalization thresholds, while the four platform services in question each have at least 45 million monthly active users in EU and north of 10,000 yearly active business users in the bloc.

However, the companies argued that iMessage, Bing et al do not qualify as gatekeeper services. In Apple's case, it claimed iMessage's "small scale relative to other messaging services" and other factors meant that it should evade the DMA's rules. Despite Google and mobile carriers pushing the EU to designate iMessage as a gatekeeper service, the bloc ultimately sided with Apple. Still, the EU's executive arm noted that it will "continue to monitor the developments on the market with respect to these services, should any substantial changes arise."

While the EU won't force iMessage to play nicely with other messaging services, Apple has creaked open the door to interoperability. The company has pledged to support the RCS messaging standard starting this year, meaning that messaging between iMessage and Android should be more secure and feature-rich. RCS texts will still be in green bubbles, however, rather than the blue of iMessage missives.

Meanwhile, Apple and Microsoft haven't avoided the DMA's clutches entirely ahead of the rules coming into force on March 7. Some of their other products are subject to the law, including Windows and LinkedIn on the Microsoft side and iOS, the App Store and Safari in Apple's case. Meta, Google, Amazon and TikTok parent ByteDance will also need to abide by the DMA. Notably, the EU has designated Meta's Messenger and WhatsApp as gatekeeper services, meaning they'll need to play nicely with other messaging apps.

Apple recently spelled out how it will open up the App Store to competitors, including third-party payment options, though rivals have called out the company's implementation of the DMA rules. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney criticized it for adding "new junk fees on downloads and new Apple taxes on payments they don't process."


Related stories
1 week ago - On Tuesday, The European Commission announced that Apple's iMessage is not a "core platform service," so it is not subject to the European Digital Markets Act (DMA)....
6 days ago - After extensive testing, here are our top picks for affordable phones in 2024. These are the best phones with productive and essential features that won't break your budget.
1 week ago - Here are the best inexpensive phones we reviewed from Apple, Samsung and Google. Our list of affordable phones should help you save money, with the cheapest starting at $160.
1 week ago - Apple released iOS 17.3 on Jan. 22 with a few new features, like Stolen Device Protection, but the tech giant's release of iOS 17.2 was packed with...
Other stories
30 minutes ago - ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights sequel ENDER MAGNOLIA: Bloom in the Mist will launch in Early Access for PC via Steam on March 25, followed by a full release across PlayStation 5, Xbox Series,…
30 minutes ago - Netflix is severing ties with Apple’s App Store billing system for good. Netflix stopped allowing new and rejoining subscribers to...
42 minutes ago - China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has warned local netizens that fake wallet apps for the nation's central bank digital currency (CBDC) are already circulating and being abused by scammers. The digital renminbi –...
1 hour ago - The European Commission is considering investigating Apple's move to disable Home Screen web apps in the EU, the Financial Times reports. ...
1 hour ago - Google began offering image generation through its Gemini AI models earlier this month. Some users, however, flagged that it generated historical images which were sometimes inaccurate.
1 hour ago - How secure, effective file sharing and content management can give businesses a crucial advantage in the post-COVID hybrid working world