Financial Times has reported that several major European telecom companies, such as Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, and Orange, have written letters to the European Commission requesting an investigation into whether Apple’s iMessage should be considered a dominant digital service, or a “gatekeeper,” under the new Digital Markets Act. These companies want Apple to be compelled to allow iMessage to connect with other competing services.
Google has been actively fighting against this issue with Apple, attempting to persuade Apple to integrate their own messaging system, RCS, into their platform through tactics like advertising campaigns for iPager. However, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has made it clear that they are not interested in pursuing this.
But now, with the introduction of the Digital Markets Act in Europe, which applies to large tech companies and requires them to open up their platforms to promote competition, Google has found an opportunity to push Apple in a new direction.
Previously, the European Commission argued that Apple has three dominant platforms: iOS, Safari, and the App Store (though Apple recently clarified that Safari is not included since it has different versions). While iMessage might not currently fall under this category, the European Commission is investigating whether it should be considered as a significant platform.
TLDR: European telecom companies are asking the European Commission to investigate whether Apple’s iMessage should be categorized as a dominant digital service under the new Digital Markets Act. Google is pressuring Apple to integrate their messaging system, RCS, into their platform. With the Digital Markets Act, Apple may be compelled to open up iMessage to connect with other services to promote competition. The European Commission is currently examining whether iMessage should be regarded as a significant platform.