EU secures massive new competition law that will completely change iMessage

The EU has reached an agreement on its Digital Marketing Act, which will target big tech companies like Apple and could bring about an end to iMessage as we know it.

As reported by TechCrunch,

Late Thursday the European Union secured agreement on the detail of a major competition reform that will see the most powerful, intermediating tech platforms subject to a set of up-front rules on how they can and cannot operate — with the threat of fines of up to 10% of global annual turnover should they breach requirements (or even 20% for repeat violations).

Specific criteria about how many users affected companies must have and how much money they make mean that the scope of the law is targeted squarely at companies like Apple and Meta. Andreas Schwab, the European Parliament’s Rapporteur said “The agreement ushers in a new era of tech regulation worldwide. The Digital Markets Act puts an end to the ever-increasing dominance of Big Tech companies. From now on, they must show that they also allow for fair competition on the internet. The new rules will help enforce that basic principle. Europe is thus ensuring more competition, more innovation, and more choice for users.”

As the report notes, one of the key requirements of the law that has been agreed upon is interoperability for messaging platforms such as iMessage. Schwab said “the Parliament has always been clear that interoperability for messaging has to come,” continuing that it would come but would also have to be secured, specifically outlining end-to-end encryption. The new laws will mean companies like Apple have to open up their APIs for competitors, in order to make basic features work across messaging services, covering basic features including user-to-user messages, video and voice calls, file transfers, and more.

Other requirements of the law will pertain to how many times a platform can ask for your consent for things like tracking for advertising (once a year), and new rules that state you should be freely allowed to choose your internet browser. It could also see a push to open up the tech behind Apple Pay on its best iPhones to other methods of payment besides Apple Pay, as well as provisions against self-preferencing and pre-installing certain software, and finally requiring app developers to use certain services like payment systems.

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