Google despatched a letter to European regulators asking them to unencumber Apple’s iMessage for all platforms, based on a report from the Financial Times Wednesday. The EU Fee mentioned Apple is gatekeeping iMessage in September, and Google’s letter unnecessarily chimes in to say “we agree.”
European regulators are at the moment investigating whether or not Apple ought to be required to adjust to the Digital Markets Act, which might pressure iMessage to be seamlessly appropriate with all messaging platforms, equivalent to Android and WhatsApp. A Google senior vice chairman and different telecom executives declare that Apple’s providers meet the thresholds of the act, and ought to be regulated to “profit European customers and companies,” in a letter seen by Monetary Instances reporters.
Apple’s iconic blue textual content bubbles over iMessage are a key consider retaining buyer loyalty. In 2019, Samsung launched an anti-bullying marketing campaign of GIFs to fight youngsters who have been bullied over their green text bubbles.
The Digital Markets Act defines gatekeepers as “giant on-line platforms that present an essential gateway between enterprise customers and customers, whose place can grant them the facility to create a bottleneck within the digital financial system.” Google’s letter says that’s the “basic nature” of iMessage.
Whereas Google chimed in on Apple’s anticompetitive practices, it’s additionally beneath the regulators’ magnifying glass. The Digital Markets Act designates Google Play, Google Maps, Chrome and extra providers as gatekeepers as properly. The search big additionally faces its personal platter of antitrust lawsuits right here within the US.
Google, Apple, and the EU Fee didn’t instantly reply to Gizmodo’s request for remark.
Apple has beforehand said, nonetheless, that iMessage doesn’t represent an essential gateway “on account of its small scale relative to different messaging providers.” The variety of iMessage customers was estimated to be 1.3 billion in 2022, whereas WhatsApp had 2.4 billion customers in the identical 12 months.
“Customers at present have entry to all kinds of messaging apps, and sometimes use many without delay, which displays how straightforward it’s to change between them,” mentioned Apple in the identical assertion. “Customers at present have entry to all kinds of messaging apps, and sometimes use many without delay, which displays how straightforward it’s to change between them.”
The fee has till February to succeed in a call on the matter.