That means that Apple will not be required to support messaging interoperability, which would have allowed messages to be sent between competing chat apps …
The iMessage antitrust threat
One element of the European Union’s Digital Markets Act was concerned with ensuring fairer competition for messaging apps.
Established messaging apps like iMessage and WhatsApp have a huge advantage over a new messaging startup – and that’s the catch-22 situation of needing to have users in order to get users.
You could create the best messaging app in the world, but nobody will use it unless their family and friends already do so.
The EU’s solution to this was to require dominant messaging apps to support messaging interoperability. With this, anyone could use the messaging app of their choice, and still be able to communicate with all their contacts.
EU agreed with Apple that iMessage isn’t dominant
Although iMessage is hugely popular in the US, it is less commonly used in Europe, where WhatsApp dominates, even among iPhone users.
To be considered a dominant messaging app in Europe, iMessage would have needed to have more than 45 million monthly active users, and Apple said last year that this was not the case.
The EU needed to satisfy itself that Apple’s claim was true, but late last year it appeared they were likely to find in favor of the Cupertino company, and this has now been confirmed.
Bloomberg reports that the EU has now officially ruled in Apple’s favor.
Apple Inc.’s iMessage and Microsoft Corp.’s Bing search engine, Edge web browser and Advertising service will avoid strict new European Union rules reining in Big Tech platforms.
A probe concluded that the services don’t hold a dominant enough position to be regulated under the EU’s Digital Markets Act, the European Commission announced on Tuesday. Apple and Microsoft said they welcomed the decision in separate statements following the announcement.
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