Google and European telecoms giants call on EU to force open iMessage

By Tim Hardwick

Google and European telecoms groups have called on EU regulators to designate iMessage an “essential” service, which would force Apple to make the communications platform compatible with rival chat services, reports the Financial Times.

In a letter sent to the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, its signatories, including Google and some of Europe's biggest telecoms companies. The operators said Apple's services meet the quality thresholds of the law and should therefore be reflected in the rules to “benefit European consumers and businesses.”

The “fundamental nature” of iMessage as “an important gateway between business users and their customers is no doubt justification for appointing Apple as the gatekeeper for its iMessage service,” Google, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Orange argued in the letter. They said consumers would benefit from the designation because, according to the report, “enhanced messaging” is only available between Apple users.

Apple declined to comment on the report but pointed to earlier information. 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 .

<р>“Consumers today have access to a wide range of messaging apps and often use many at once, which demonstrates how easy it is to switch between them. iMessage is designed and marketed for personal communication by consumers, and we look forward to explaining that to the commission. why iMessage goes beyond DMA.”

In September, Apple challenged an EU regulator's decision to call them “gatekeepers” before publishing the first list of services that would be regulated by DMA. Digital Markets Act (DMA). The legislation introduces new rules applicable to services considered core platform services and forces them to open up their various services and platforms to other companies and developers. For example, Apple may be forced to allow third-party companies and competing apps like Meta's WhatsApp to integrate directly with iMessage.

However, Apple argues that iMessage does not meet the number of users required by DMA rules. apply and not be obliged to comply with it. “iMessage is not an important gateway in the alliance for business users to reach end users due to its small scale compared to other messaging services,” Apple reportedly told the panel.

Estimates According to analysts, iMessage has as many as one billion users worldwide, but Apple has not disclosed any official figures about this service for several years. Whether iMessage will be included in the EU's initial list of gatekeeper services will depend on how it defines the market in which it operates.

The EU's investigation into iMessage is ongoing, and the European Commission has until February to decision.

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Tags: iMessage, European Union, European Commission[ 181 comments ]

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