According to a report by Bloomberg, the EU is leaning towards leaving Apple out of the DMA as they have “tentatively concluded that it isn’t popular enough with business users to warrant being hit by the regulation.”
In September, the European Commission shortlisted 22 services run by six technology giants – Google’s parent company Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft – and tagged them gatekeepers under the Digital Markets Act (DMA).Apple’s five services – App Store, Safari, iOS, iPadOS and iMessage – were picked under the purview of the new law.
Apple contested that iMessage should not be designated as gatekeeper and the commission launched an investigation to ascertain whether to make iMessage interoperable with other services – to give users the freedom to use any service they want on their devices.
How services are designated gatekeeper
To designate a service as gatekeeper, it must fit in the criteria set by the commission. As per the rules, any service or company that:
- has a market value of at least EUR 75 billion (approx $82 billion), and
- either owning a social platform or app that is used by at least 45 million people every month or has at least 10,000 active business users, is considered a gatekeeper.
Google pressures EU on iMessage
The development comes a few days after Google, along with a bunch of other companies wrote to the European Commission to designate the iMessage service as a “core platform service”, making the service interoperable with other messaging services.
Meanwhile, Apple said that “consumers today have access to a wide variety of messaging apps, and often use many at once, which reflects how easy it is to switch between them.”
“iMessage is designed and marketed for personal consumer communications, and we look forward to explaining to the commission why iMessage is outside the scope of the DMA,” Apple said.