EU Likely Exempts iMessage from Antitrust, Citing Limited Business User Adoption, Potential Win for Apple

Crafting the finest messaging app won't cut it if your buddies aren't already on board. It's all about messaging interoperability, letting folks use their preferred app while still staying connected with everyone in their contact list.

Now, let's dive into the nitty-gritty of the Digital Markets Act (DMA). This regulation zeroes in on the big dogs in each sector, and Apple finds itself in the spotlight, especially concerning the App Store. The twist? Apple argues iMessage deserves a pass because, frankly, it’s not the talk of the town in the EU. Surprising, right? Well, WhatsApp takes the lead in Europe, even among Apple users.

According to the grapevine at Bloomberg, it seems like Apple might be on the winning side of this tussle. Word is that European Commission officials are leaning towards giving Apple a break. Why? They're buying into the idea that iMessage isn’t a hotshot among business users in the EU, unlike the WhatsApp juggernaut.

The 'business user' card is a game-changer. Many companies swear by WhatsApp for their chat services, and that's a kind of lock-in for the app. iMessage doesn't play in the same ballpark.

Hold on, though. Let’s not pop the champagne just yet. This is still in the rumor mill. Apple, smart cookies that they are, had already sown the seeds of doubt. They weren’t initially on the hit list of dominant messaging apps, which featured WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Apple seemed uncertain about a victory, so they flipped the script on rich communication services (RCS) last month. They went from a 'no' to RCS to a 'heck, why not?'

Backing RCS could be Apple's golden ticket to argue for messaging interoperability without turning iMessage upside down. This move might have played a part in swaying the EU to give Apple the nod, if today’s whispers turn out to be the real deal.

Photo: DIW / AI-Gen

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