EU wants to force iMessage and other messaging apps to communicate with each other

The European Union has revealed more details about its plans to tackle anti-competitive practices by big tech companies like Apple and Google. Among the various rules, there may be the obligation of interoperability for the main messaging applications.

EU, iMessage, communication apps

With the rules of the new Digital Markets Act (DMA), Europe wants all major messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and iMessage to have an interoperable platform.

DMA is aimed at enterprises with at least 45 million monthly active end users or 10,000 annually active business users in Europe. This means that European antitrust legislation could have an impact not only on the operation of the App Store, with the obligation to open stores and third-party payment, but also on iMessage.

European lawmakers believe that the main messaging apps available in Europe should “open up and interact with smaller messaging platforms”. In other words, Europe wants an iMessage or WhatsApp user to be able to message a Signal user or any other messaging app.

Users of these platforms could then exchange messages, send files or make video calls through other messaging apps, thus having many more choices.

The legislation will also require companies to request explicit consent from users to collect personal data for advertising purposes and their platforms will have to allow users to freely choose the web browser, virtual assistant or search engine they wish to use. . This, of course, could have repercussions for Apple as the company restricts some of these options on iOS.

At the moment, the legislation still needs to be finalized and approved by Parliament, so we still have to wait several months before it becomes operational.

However, remember that Google asked Apple to adopt RCS in iOS, the new universal messaging protocol that allows advanced communications between different platforms. Although Android already works with RCS, Apple has never shown any interest in adopting the protocol because it would bring some of the functionality of iMessage into conversations with Android users.

If the EU approves DMA, Apple could be forced to add RCS support to its devices to comply with the new legislation. Failure to comply with the DMA, if officially approved, could result in fines of billions of euros.

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