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    Google wants Apple forced to open iMessage to others

    Tech
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    Last updated: November 10th, 2023 at 11:26 UTC+01:00

    According to a new report from the Financial Times, Google and a few telecom companies in Europe, including Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, and Vodafone have written a letter to the European Commission, claiming that Apple’s iMessage qualifies as a ‘core platform service’ under the Digital Markets Act, and to that extent, they have asked the agency to classify it as one. If that happens, Apple will have to make iMessage compatible with other messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp and Google Messages.

    What are the Digital Markets Act and core platform services?

    In September this year, the European Commission designated six ‘gatekeepers’: Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). These companies must follow a set of rules that prevent them from controlling the market. In turn, this step ensures that “innovators and technology start-ups will have new opportunities to compete and innovate in the online platform environment without having to comply with unfair terms and conditions limiting their development.

    Under this act, the European Commission classified 22 services from these six platforms as ‘core platform services,’ which, according to the agency provide a “gateway between businesses and consumers in relation to core platform services”. As such, these services are required to “allow third parties to inter-operate with the gatekeeper’s own services in certain specific situations.

    Currently, the exact details about this condition are scarce. However, from what we could understand, the act requires services under this act to be compatible with other services of the same kind. For example, the condition mandates platforms like WhatsApp and Messenger to be compatible with other messaging platforms like Signal, Telegram, WeChat, and Google Messages.

    Apple doesn't want to open up iMessage to third-party services

    According to the European Commission, Apple’s iMessage also meets the requirements to be classified as a core platform service. However, the iPhone maker has argued that it doesn’t qualify as a gateway, and the agency has already opened an investigation on the matter, which should be completed by September 2024. If the European Commission classifies iMessage as a core platform service, Apple will have six months to open up its messaging platform for other platforms. Interesting times ahead.

    Tech AppleEuropeGoogleiMessage Buy

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