Apple is one of six companies targeted by European regulators under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which claims Big Tech has several gatekeeping services that stifle competition and should be broken up. Apple has reportedly drafted an appeal to the DMA, arguing that the entire App Store and iMessage should not be on this list. Earlier this week, Google sent a letter to the EU Commission saying iMessage should be required to share its blue text bubbles with the world because it fits all the requirements of a gatekeeper service.
The EU Commission declined to comment on this matter.
If Google gets its way, the Digital Markets Act would likely require iMessage to become completely compatible with other messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp or Android. IOS users have always had limited features when texting with non-IOS users, marking them with a sad green text bubble. The Digital Markets Act seeks to make cross-platform interactions more seamless.
As for the App Store, European Regulators would like to see third-party payments enabled on the platform, instead of paying for everything through Apple where it receives a decent chunk of the revenue. Apple may also be required to allow other app stores on the iPhone. The DMA could bring changes for “consumers inside the App Store regarding alternative purchasing mechanisms,” according to a filing from Apple this week, and those changes will happen in just a few months.
“The Company expects to make further business changes in the future, including as a result of legislative initiatives impacting the App Store, such as the European Union (“EU”) Digital Markets Act, which the Company is required to comply with by March 2024,” Apple said in the same filing.
Apple did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.
In-app purchases are also the focus of Epic vs Google, as Epic Games alleges Google Play is a monopolistic app store that stifles competition. Epic made similar claims against Apple’s App Store and lost.