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EU antitrust regulators have asked Apple's users and rivals to rate the importance of Apple's iMessage and Microsoft's Bing versus competing services, reports Reuters.

iMessages-Microsoft-feature.jpg

According to people familiar with the matter, the European Commission sent out the questionnaires earlier this month, asking if there was anything specific to iMessage and Microsoft's Bing, Edge, and Microsoft Advertising that business users rely on and how they fit into the companies' ecosystems. The survey also asked for the number of users making use of the services.

The survey comes after Apple and Microsoft contested the EU regulator labeling them as "gatekeepers" ahead of the publication of the first list of services to be regulated by the Digital Markets Act (DMA). Apple last month argued that iMessage does not meet the number of users required for the DMA's rules to apply, and should not be obliged to comply with it.

The legislation introduces new rules that apply to services considered to be core platform services and forces them to open up their various services and platforms to other companies and developers. For example, Apple could be forced to allow third-party companies and rival apps like Meta's WhatsApp to integrate directly with iMessage.

Analysts estimate that iMessage has as many as one billion users around the world, but Apple has not disclosed any official numbers about the service for several years. Whether iMessage will be included on the EU's initial list of gatekeeper services will depend on how it defines the market in which it operates.

Apple is expected to add support for sideloading apps from outside the ‌App Store‌ on iPhones and iPads in Europe via an update to iOS 17 due to the DMA's requirements, which could ultimately force similar major changes to the way in which the App Store, FaceTime, and Siri work on Apple devices.

Survey respondents were given less than a week to provide feedback, and the Commission wants to complete its investigation "within five months," according to the report.

Article Link: EU Asks iMessage Users and Rivals If Service Should Be Regulated
 

nathan_reilly

macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2016
347
1,060
"The legislation introduces new rules that apply to services considered to be core platform services" - I'd say that messaging on a phone is a pretty core platform service from my perspective. Its not like iPhone users can only place phone calls to iPhone users!
 

iLoveDeveloping

Suspended
Sep 24, 2009
596
2,366
Ireland
Where? How are these people getting these surveys? I never see anything like this. Are they asking their friends and family or what? All android users i would imagine. No one with an iPhone wants this.. Madness. So sick of EU trying to destroy Apple products. They should have no power over a company not in the EU.
 

Born Again

Suspended
May 12, 2011
4,073
5,335
Norcal
I love iMessage but enough is enough there should be integration with other non iPhone users. It’s annoying to me when I can’t sent proper media to my green friends.

Phil Schiller did not suggest opening it up at one point? It doesn’t sound like Apple can’t but won’t.
 

contacos

macrumors 601
Nov 11, 2020
4,886
18,803
Mexico City living in Berlin
Still blows my mind that they check each service individually. I previously thought that once you are a „gatekeeper“, it counts for all the services as a whole within that company but looks like the EU is literally checking the amount of users of each service? Sounds like a ridiculous amount of work.

Why not just do …

Apple has X users (as a whole) and therefore considered a „Gatekeeper“ and thus their services such as iMessage and AppStore etc have to comply, otherwise the term doesn’t make any sense? They’d have to call it „Apple AppStore Gatekeeper“ since apparently not everything within „Apple“ is „gatekept“.
 

GuyDouche

macrumors member
Oct 6, 2023
53
94
They sure LOVE to use WA here, but there’s just something natively integral about using iMessage. It simply works!
But they’ll always silently judge you for having an iPhone vs using an Android phone
 

dsusanj

macrumors regular
Oct 29, 2008
208
388
Still blows my mind that they check each service individually. I previously thought that once you are a „gatekeeper“, it counts for all the services as a whole within that company but looks like the EU is literally checking the amount of users each of service? Sounds like a ridiculous amount of work
It would not make sense for all the services to count for the “gatekeeper” status. For example, Apple Music is clearly not a gatekeeper in the EU, and neither is iMessage (nobody cares about iMessage here).
 

Gubbz

macrumors member
May 2, 2010
64
26
Perth, Australia
One way of looking into it would be what patents they could kill off, companies do try to avoid paying others for use of intellectual property when they can... Maybe the EU could develop and release to the public an open source/free to use , feature rich and secure system that everyone could adopt, then it being open source, the corporations will utilise it especially if they don't have to make payments to a rival...
 

masotime

macrumors 68030
Jun 24, 2012
2,814
2,746
San Jose, CA
Europeans: iMessage is not a thing here. It's barely used. Everyone already use WhatsApp and other cross-platform tools, unlike Americans.

Also Europeans: iMeSsAgE hAs A mOnOpOlY hErE

This.

iMessage is hardly a monopoly. WhatsApp. Telegram. Signal. WeChat.

There are so many options out there, and unlike browsers they are largely unrestricted by iOS. Use whatever you like, but calling iMessage a monopoly is nonsense. No one needs the RCS protocol - it would be nice to unify around one messaging app but if you just need to establish basic communications SMS is fine.

I have a sneaking suspicion is it really only the carriers that want RCS to succeed - since it is meant to replace SMS, which has largely been superseded by standard internet data protocols, it’s a revenue stream they’d like to restore….
 

jarman92

macrumors 68000
Nov 13, 2014
1,506
4,682
Still blows my mind that they check each service individually. I previously thought that once you are a „gatekeeper“, it counts for all the services as a whole within that company but looks like the EU is literally checking the amount of users of each service? Sounds like a ridiculous amount of work.

Why not just do …

Apple has X users (as a whole) and therefore considered a „Gatekeeper“ and thus their services such as iMessage and AppStore etc have to comply, otherwise the term doesn’t make any sense? They’d have to call it „Apple AppStore Gatekeeper“ since apparently not everything within „Apple“ is „gatekept“.

A ridiculous amount of work? Well, god forbid EU's bureaucracy face the consequences of its own overbearing actions.
 

jarman92

macrumors 68000
Nov 13, 2014
1,506
4,682
They sure LOVE to use WA here, but there’s just something natively integral about using iMessage. It simply works!
But they’ll always silently judge you for having an iPhone vs using an Android phone

Wait...you're telling me there are places in the world where having an iPhone is looked down upon? Where? First I'm hearing of this.
 
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Grey Area

macrumors 6502
Jan 14, 2008
426
1,008
Europeans: iMessage is not a thing here. It's barely used. Everyone already use WhatsApp and other cross-platform tools, unlike Americans.

Also Europeans: iMeSsAgE hAs A mOnOpOlY hErE
This is about finding out whether iMessage qualifies as a "gatekeeper service" in the EU definition. Several other messenger services already do, so this cannot really be about monopolies. It is more of a "with-great-power-comes-great-responsibility" thing, hence the EU wants to know whether iMessage is strong enough in the EU to warrant stricter rules.
 

klasma

macrumors 603
Jun 8, 2017
6,235
17,518
"The legislation introduces new rules that apply to services considered to be core platform services" - I'd say that messaging on a phone is a pretty core platform service from my perspective. Its not like iPhone users can only place phone calls to iPhone users!
Messaging is so core to modern communication, that there should really be a modern secure facility that’s platform-independent and non-proprietary.
 

hsotnicam8002

macrumors 6502
Mar 13, 2008
470
123
United Kingdom
I love iMessage but enough is enough there should be integration with other non iPhone users. It’s annoying to me when I can’t sent proper media to my green friends.

Phil Schiller did not suggest opening it up at one point? It doesn’t sound like Apple can’t but won’t.
‘It’s annoying to me when I can’t sent proper media to my green friends.’

Then use another app for that. Simples, squeak.
 

d686546s

macrumors 6502a
Jan 11, 2021
683
1,641
They should have no power over a company not in the EU.

They don't. Now if you want to sell your products and services in the EU you obviously fall under their jurisdiction and, if companies are not able to address regulatory requirements otherwise you will obviously be affected even if you're not in the EU.

But that's always been the case and I bet we can find plenty of examples where US regulations have had an effect on other markets. C'est la vie.
 

contacos

macrumors 601
Nov 11, 2020
4,886
18,803
Mexico City living in Berlin
It would not make sense for all the services to count for the “gatekeeper” status. For example, Apple Music is clearly not a gatekeeper in the EU, and neither is iMessage (nobody cares about iMessage here).

I am probably just overthinking it and hung up too much on the terminology but then it should not be called "Apple is a Gatekeeper". In that case the term "The Service X of Apple falls under the category of a gatekeeper" would make more sense to me
 
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nikusak

macrumors regular
Feb 11, 2014
206
614
Nobody uses iMessage in EU. People don't even know that such service exists. WhatsApp has about 100% market share.

By forcing every IM service to be compatible with each other and by making it (apparently) illegal to have any proprietary features (i.e. innovate) outside the core feature set defined by old men (who can barely use e-mail themselves) in the EU commission, EU will kill innovation, not accelerate it.

What's the point of running an IM service if all you can have is a dumb client having the same set of features as everyone else? Look at e-mail. It's the same as it was in the 90s.

Just force Apple to implement RCS (which is crap) and let people choose if they want to use it or not.

Oh well, if they force all services to interoperate, it means that I can delete all but Apple’s Messages app. No need to have WhatsApp or Signal apps on my iPhone anymore. I bet this is not what EU commission wants.
 
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