EU Tech Rules Exempt Apple’s iMessage and Microsoft’s Bing

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EU Tech Rules Exempt Apple’s iMessage and Microsoft’s Bing

EU Exempts Apple’s iMessage and Microsoft’s Bing from New Tech Rules

European Union antitrust regulators announced on Tuesday that Apple’s iMessage and Microsoft’s Bing search engine will be exempted from new EU tech rules. The regulators accepted the companies’ argument that these services do not serve as gateways to reach end-users.

The Digital Markets Act, which comes into effect in three weeks, imposes various requirements. These include compelling Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, Meta Platforms, and ByteDance to allow third-party apps or app stores on their platforms and facilitating easier switching from default apps to competitors. Moreover, the companies are prohibited from favoring their own services.

Following a five-month investigation, the European Commission concluded that iMessage, Bing, Edge, and Microsoft Advertising “did not qualify as gatekeeper services,” according to a statement from the EU executive.

The Commission specified that Apple’s App Store, iOS operating system, and Safari browser, as well as Microsoft’s LinkedIn social network and Windows operating system, will continue to be classified as gatekeepers.

The decision was reached after a thorough assessment of all arguments, taking into account input from relevant stakeholders. However, the Commission did not provide details of the companies’ arguments.

Apple welcomed the Commission’s decision, stating, “Consumers today have access to a wide variety of messaging apps, and often use many at once, which reflects how easy it is to switch between them,” according to a spokesperson.

Microsoft also commented, noting that Bing, Edge, and Microsoft Advertising operate as challengers in the market.

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