Microsoft and Apple Seek Exemptions from EU’s New Tech Regulations for Bing and iMessage


Both firms argue that their individual services fall below the threshold for inclusion on the ‘gatekeepers’ list.

Microsoft and Apple are reportedly vying to have Bing and iMessage excluded from the ‘gatekeepers’ list outlined in the EU’s landmark legislation, the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DMA, which was enacted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in September 2022 and will be enforceable from May 2, 2023, aims to foster fair competition and rein in the dominance of Big Tech firms. It primarily targets major digital platforms referred to as ‘gatekeepers,’ encompassing online search engines, app stores, and messenger services. Non-compliance with the DMA may result in penalties, including fines of up to 10% of a company’s global turnover.

Notably, both Microsoft and Apple are currently included on this list, alongside industry giants such as Amazon, Alphabet, Meta, Byte Dance, and Samsung. Nevertheless, it remains undetermined which specific services offered by these companies will be subjected to DMA regulations. Financial Times reports that Microsoft has resisted the notion of being subjected to the same regulations as its competitor, Google. If subjected to the DMA, Bing would be obligated to provide users with alternative search engine options, which could further erode its already modest market share of just 3%.

Conversely, Microsoft is unlikely to challenge the classification of its popular PC operating system, Windows, as a gatekeeper. On the other hand, Apple contends that iMessage does not meet the user threshold that would warrant compliance with DMA rules, unlike rival apps such as Meta’s WhatsApp.

While Apple has not disclosed user figures for iMessage in recent years, industry analysts estimate that it boasts approximately 1 billion global users. The inclusion of iMessage in the DMA hinges largely on how the EU defines the market segment within which the platform operates.

Once the EU finalizes the list of gatekeepers, these companies will have a six-month window to adhere to DMA provisions. Additionally, most of these firms and their respective platforms will also fall under the ambit of the Digital Services Act (DSA), of which the DMA forms an integral part. The DSA is a fresh set of regulations aimed at enhancing online safety and transparency for users within the EU, with anticipated global implications.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *