Apple and Microsoft are working hard to ensure that their iMessage and Bing services are not subject to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). Both companies argue that their software solutions are not large enough to meet the requirements of the new legislation aimed at increasing digital competition in the EU market.
The European Commission plans to publish a list of IT companies covered by the DMA on September 6th. This list includes large organizations and the specific services they offer. Services, chosen based on their revenue and number of users, must comply with a set of interoperability and competition rules.
Apple and Microsoft as well as Amazon, Alphabet, Meta✴, ByteDance and Samsung are already members of this list. However, the European Commission has yet to specify exactly which parts of its business should be included. Once the EU approves the document, companies have six months until March 2024 to comply with the DMA rules.
According to the Financial Times (FT), Microsoft is unlikely to dispute that Windows is subject to the DMA, but the company says its Bing search engine’s share of the search market is small (compared to its better-known competitor Google) and that it is its could still drop if it has to allow access to competing search engines.
Similarly, Apple is developing methods that allow iOS to work with third-party app stores and app downloads bypassing the App Store to comply with DMA rules. However, according to FT, the company claims that its iMessage app doesn’t meet the legal threshold of 45 million monthly active users and therefore shouldn’t interact with other messengers. Although Apple doesn’t announce specific figures, there is speculation that iMessage could have a billion users worldwide.
The Digital Markets Act is part of a series of EU laws aimed at curbing the dominance of big tech companies. Recently, it has become clear that the growing influence of tech giants is a concern for regulators around the world.
These new measures show Europe’s desire to control and regulate the activities of the biggest players in the IT industry in order to create a fairer and more competitive environment for all market participants. This time can be challenging, but it opens up new opportunities for innovation and an improved user experience.