Title: Google Supports EU Investigation into Making Apple’s iMessage Available Across Platforms
Google has thrown its weight behind the European Union Commission’s inquiry into whether Apple should be mandated to make its popular messaging service, iMessage, compatible with other platforms. In a letter sent to European regulators, the tech giant voiced its support for the idea of expanding iMessage’s availability, stating that it meets the criteria of the Digital Markets Act.
The Digital Markets Act defines “gatekeepers” as dominant online platforms that can create bottlenecks in the digital economy. Google argues that iMessage fits this description, and therefore should be regulated for the benefit of European consumers and businesses. The act aims to ensure greater interoperability between messaging platforms such as Android and WhatsApp.
Apple’s blue iMessage text bubbles are considered iconic and have played a crucial role in retaining customer loyalty. In fact, Samsung even launched an anti-bullying campaign in 2019, urging users to switch to iMessage and its blue bubbles, while criticizing the green bubbles of other messaging platforms.
Both Apple and Google have yet to respond to Gizmodo’s request for comments on the matter. Apple has previously argued that iMessage does not operate on a significant enough scale compared to other messaging services, and therefore does not constitute a crucial gateway.
The European Union Commission has confirmed receiving Google’s letter, but has refrained from making any comments at this time. However, the commission has until February to reach a decision on whether Apple should be required to make iMessage compatible with other platforms.
If the European Union decides in favor of the investigation, it could have far-reaching consequences for Apple. Opening up iMessage to all platforms would enable users to communicate seamlessly across different devices, a move that could enhance competition and provide greater choices for European consumers.
As the EU Commission delves into the digital marketplace, Google finds its own services, including Google Play, Google Maps, and Chrome, under scrutiny. The Digital Markets Act identifies these services as “gatekeepers,” the same classification given to iMessage. Hence, both Apple and Google may face potential regulation as the investigation proceeds.
Ultimately, the outcome of the investigation will determine the future of iMessage and its compatibility with other platforms. European consumers and businesses eagerly await the commission’s decision, as it could significantly impact the way they communicate and interact in the digital realm.
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