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The DMA could force Apple to change how iMessage and other services operate

The rules in the DMA are scheduled to apply starting early next year.
By
November 1, 2022
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Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • The EU’s Digital Markets Act is going into its six-month implementation phase.
  • If a company is identified as a “gatekeeper,” it will be forced to open up its services and platform.
  • These rules could force Apple to make major changes to iMessage and more.

Apple isn’t exactly known for having an ecosystem that plays nice with outside products and services. But, that could change in the near future once the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) goes into full effect.

Back in late 2020, the DMA was proposed to the European Commission. The measure was then agreed to by the European Parliament and the Council in March 2022. It has now reached the implementation phase — a six-month period — and is expected to go into effect on May 2, 2023.

Designed to make the tech sector more competitive and fair, the arrival of the DMA is a big deal for tech giants. Once the law is active, it will require that tech companies meet its standards for interoperability. If labeled a “gatekeeper,” that company would be forced to open its services and/or platforms to other companies and developers. This could have major implications for Apple, in particular.

As the folks over at MacRumors state, Apple is likely to be classified as a gatekeeper under the DMA’s definition. Meaning, the DMA could force Apple to change the way how its platform and services operate, including iMessage, the App Store, and more. This could make it so that the Cupertino business has to allow users to install third-party app stores, allow other companies to access data gathered by Apple, and more.

In addition, MacRumors points out one of the newer additions to the law that requires messaging, voice-calling, and video-calling services interoperable. This means that other companies can request to interoperate Apple’s iMessage, which could force Apple to finally play nice with RCS messages.

Not too long ago, Tim Cook responded to a question about improving text-based communication between Android and iPhone by saying, “I don’t hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy on that at this point” and to “buy your mom an iPhone.” Despite its best efforts, it looks like Apple may have to start putting energy toward it.