Home » Technology » Apple » iMessage Cannot Be Regulated In EU Due To Lack Of Users

iMessage Cannot Be Regulated In EU Due To Lack Of Users

If Apple and Microsoft have their way, services like iMessage and the search engine Bing are not relevant enough in Europe to be regulated by the so-called Digital Markets Act (DMA). At least this is what the companies claim in documents they submitted to the EU.

Does iMessage have fewer than 45 million users in Europe?

Apple’s instant messaging service is a powerhouse in the US. In the still closed system, users of Apple devices are practically exclusive, but iMessage hardly plays a role in this country. At least that is the argument of the most valuable technology company in the world when it comes to warding off the threat of regulation by the European Union. 

This is exactly what the Financial Times reports citing a series of documents that Apple is said to have submitted to the EU. In Apple’s opinion, iMessage cannot therefore be viewed as a kind of “gatekeeper”, i.e. a service that could make it more difficult for competing products to enter a certain market area. According to the sources, Apple claims, among other things, that iMessage does not have enough users on our continent to fall under the scope of the Digital Markets Act.

EU wants to force interoperability of services

Apple therefore does not see any obligation to change its messenger to ensure interoperability with competing products such as WhatsApp, it continues. Ultimately, however, it remains to be seen how Apple and the EU each define the scope of the “market” in which iMessage is used. Apple is likely to argue that the scenario is limited to the EU states, it is said.

Currently, the EU has not yet made a decision regarding the first edition of the companies affected by the Digital Markets Act. According to sources close to EU politicians in Brussels, it is certain that, among others, Google, Amazon, and Meta should be restricted in their scope by the new legislation. It is estimated that iMessage has up to a billion users worldwide, but Apple has not published any figures on the subject for several years.

Bing actually has very small market shares in Europe

Unlike Apple, Microsoft probably has good arguments when it comes to the reach of its search engine Bing. The Redmond company had argued similarly to Apple, but the market share of the search engine and the associated services has not increased despite the recently introduced AI functions and is therefore still comparatively low.

Bing is said to only have a market share of around three percent in this country. According to Microsoft, an obligation under the DMA to offer a selection of other search engines would potentially lead to Google’s outstanding market position being strengthened even further.

With the DMA, which is known in German as the “Law on Digital Services and Markets”, the EU wants to ensure that none of the large technology companies can exploit their market power to gain a business advantage. The requirements have actually been in effect since May 2023, but many detailed questions are still unclear, including which companies should be affected.

Leave a Reply