Apple and Microsoft Score Important Win in the European Union: All the Details |


In what can be called as an important win, Apple and Microsoft are exempted from new EU tech rules that designate services – if they meet a certain criteria – offered by tech giants to allow interoperability, or working with services offered by other rival companies.
Both Apple and Microsoft were able to convince the antitrust regulators in Europe that their services do not meet the criteria required to be designated as ‘gatekeepers.’ Apple’s iMessage and Microsoft’s Bing search engine, Edge browser as well as advertising business won’t be hit with tough new obligations.
The European Union‘s Digital Markets Act (DMA) will take effect in three weeks’ time and it requires services offered by Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet’s Google, Amazon, Facebook parent Meta Platforms and TikTok-owner ByteDance to allow third-party apps or app stores on their platforms and make it easier for people to switch to rivals.
What is the case
Both Apple and Microsoft argued that some of their services do not meet the minimum requirement set by the regulator, hence, should be exempted from the gatekeeper designation. To be named as gatekeeper, a service must:
– have a market value of at least EUR 75 billion (approx $82 billion), and
– Either own a social platform or app that is used by at least 45 million people every month or have at least 10,000 active business users.
The European Commission announced a five-month investigation that found iMessage, Bing, Edge and Microsoft Advertising “did not qualify as gatekeeper services,” the EU executive said in a statement.
The Commission said Apple’s App Store, iOS operating system and Safari browser, however, will continue to be classified as gatekeepers as will Microsoft’s Linkedin social network and Windows operating system.
What Apple has to say
Apple said that iMessage usage is negligible, even on its devices, compared to rival messaging services in the EU and that iMessage is not an important channel for businesses to reach users in the bloc.
“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,” news agency Reuters quoted an Apple spokesperson as saying.
What Microsoft said
Microsoft said that Bing, Edge and Microsoft Advertising operate as challengers in the market and are of relatively small scale.
“We will continue to engage with the Commission and industry at large to ensure Microsoft’s other designated platforms comply fully with the DMA,” a Microsoft spokesperson was quoted as saying.


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