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Google, some EU telecom groups want Apple’s iMessages declared a ‘core’ service

Google and some of Europe’s biggest telecom groups have urged European Union (EU) regulators to designate iMessage a “core” service and force Apple to make it compatible with competing chat services, reports the Financial Times.

The “fundamental nature” of iMessage as “an important gateway between business users and their customers is without doubt justification for Apple’s designation as gatekeeper for its iMessage service,” Google, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Orange said in the letter. They think consumers would be better off as a result of the designation because “enriched messaging” is only available between Apple users, according to the report.

As noted by MacRumors, Apple declined to comment on the report, but pointed to an earlier statement that said:

iMessage is a great service that Apple users love because it provides an easy way to communicate with friends and family while offering industry-leading privacy and security protections.

Consumers today have access to a wide variety of messaging apps, and often use many at once, which reflects how easy it is to switch between them. iMessage is designed and marketed for personal consumer communications, and we look forward to explaining to the commission why iMessage is outside the scope of the DMA.

This is part of an ongoing brouhaha between Apple and the European Union. In September Apple’s App Store, Safari browser, and iOS operating system were officially designated as “gatekeepers” in the European Union, an official classification that requires adherence to strict new regulations, reported Bloomberg.

However, the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, said it needed more time to investigate whether Microsoft’s Bing, Edge and Advertising services and Apple’s iMessage should be exempt from the new rules of the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The Commission is also considering whether iPadOS should be included in the regulation.

As noted by Bloomberg, under the new regulations, it will be illegal for certain platforms to favor their own services over those of rivals. They’ll be barred from combining personal data across their different services, prohibited from using data they collect from third-party merchants to compete against them, and will have to allow users to download apps from rival platforms.

According to the Financial Times, six firms ranging from Apple to TikTok, and some 20 of their services, will be affected by the DMA. Each firm will be required to make their services interoperable with rivals, and also to link to their competitors.

The EU is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its policies aim “to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries, and regional development.”

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today
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