While Apple is going to make lots of huge changes to the iPhone (App Store, Apple Pay, etc.) to comply with new European laws, its iMessage application will escape them. Here’s why.
Did Apple breathe a sigh of relief? Probably not, but it is at least one area where the European Union leaves him alone. As recounted Bloombergthe iMessage messaging service will escape the Digital Markets Act (DMA). As a reminder, this is new EU legislation aimed at combating abuse of dominant position by digital giants.
No upheaval in sight for iMessage
Indeed, after investigation, the European Commission considered that the messaging platform did not occupy a sufficiently dominant position to threaten healthy competition in their respective sectors. As such, it does not need to be supervised by the DMA. In other words, iMessage dodges a series of measures that could have radically changed the use of the application.
With DMA, major messaging applications, such as WhatsApp or Messenger, will have to “ make the core functionality of their instant messaging services interoperable with their smaller competitors“, remember the government website Public life.
Concretely, sending a WhatsApp message to iMessage could have become possible and normal. This will not be the case, however, since Apple’s messaging application will not be constrained by the Digital Markets Act .
This decision by the European Union may seem surprising. It’s no secret that iMessage is one of Apple’s main tools for keeping its users in a closed ecosystem. However, towards the end of 2023, the Cupertino company took the lead by announcing the arrival of RCS on iMessage.
Thanks to this protocol Rich Communication Services— replacing the obsolete SMS — very popular with competitors like Google and Samsung, functions are finally becoming compatible between iMessage and other SMS/RCS applications on Android. We think, for example, of high definition media, receipts, the text entry indicator, group conversations, reactions, etc.
The DMA mainly targets the App Store and Apple Pay
It is perhaps thanks to this initiative which allows a form of interoperability that iMessage manages to escape the rules of the DMA. Add to this that, in Europe, iMesssage is not as powerful as it can be in the United States. A plethora of instant messaging applications have been used for years in the Old Continent.
Let us also remember that the DMA encouraged Apple to disrupt the iPhone and iOS where platforms such as the App Store or Apple Pay were identified in a dominant position. Apple therefore had to announce several new rules which nevertheless continue to cause controversy among application developers.
Finally, be aware that Microsoft is also affected by the investigation carried out by the EU. Thus, alongside iMessage, the Edge web browser and the Bing search engine will also not be affected by DMA constraints. THEDigital Markets Actwill come into force on March 6, 2024.