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Apple argues iMessage user base is too small to be regulated by the EU’s Digital Markets Act

Apple has allegedly claimed that the number of active iMessage users in Europe is too small to subject the messaging service to regulations stipulated by the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), according to a new report by the Financial Times.

Apple has made the argument as a last-ditch effort to convince the EU to spare iMessage from the set of regulations introduced by the DMA, with the EU set to reveal the first round of apps and services to be affected by the Act on Wednesday. According to the DMA, affected services must have an annual revenue of at least €7.5 billion, a market capitalization value of no less than €75 billion, and at least 45 million active monthly users based in the EU to be affected by the new regulation.

Financial Times adds that the Union “has some discretion” when it comes to the minimum requirements set above, meaning that certain services can arbitrarily fall under the DMA as the European Union sees fit even if they don’t meet the stipulated requirements.

The report adds that Apple has privately argued with the EU that iMessage currently doesn’t meet the minimum number of active monthly users to fall under the DMA, meaning that Apple won’t be forced to open up its messaging service to interoperate with competitors such as Telegram and Whatsapp. Recent estimates put the number of active iMessage users at 1 billion worldwide, but a region-specific figure is hard to estimate, especially since Apple “has not disclosed any figures for several years,” adds the report.

The EU is currently in the process of considering whether to include iMessage in the final list of DMA-affected apps and services, the report adds. There is a possibility that the European Commission may launch an investigation to assess whether these services should be subjected to the new obligations outlined in the DMA.

Simultaneously, Microsoft is also making the same argument that Apple is pulling with its Bing search engine, with Financial Times claiming that Microsoft is pointing to Bing’s small 3% market share of search engines, which would put it at a “greater disadvantage” compared to Google.

In July, it was revealed that Apple confirmed its “gatekeeper” status to the EU. Under the DMA, companies will also be required to allow users to easily remove pre-installed apps, as well as end the prioritization of default apps and services over third-party ones. Finally, the DMA is set to force Apple to open up its platforms to third-party app stores and external payment providers.

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Omar Moharram

Omar Moharram

Omar is Senior Editor at Supercharged and an Apple devotee since his early teens. He graduated with a computer engineering degree in 2022, which aids him in his technical content writing. Outside of work, he can often be found critiquing music or a film, or tinkering with a bass.

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Who are we?

Supercharged is not just another news outlet. We’re a platform on a mission to offer personalized and ad-free news directly to you. Discover more of Supercharged.

Apple argues iMessage user base is too small to be regulated by the EU’s Digital Markets Act

Apple has allegedly claimed that the number of active iMessage users in Europe is too small to subject the messaging service to regulations stipulated by the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), according to a new report by the Financial Times.

Apple has made the argument as a last-ditch effort to convince the EU to spare iMessage from the set of regulations introduced by the DMA, with the EU set to reveal the first round of apps and services to be affected by the Act on Wednesday. According to the DMA, affected services must have an annual revenue of at least €7.5 billion, a market capitalization value of no less than €75 billion, and at least 45 million active monthly users based in the EU to be affected by the new regulation.

Financial Times adds that the Union “has some discretion” when it comes to the minimum requirements set above, meaning that certain services can arbitrarily fall under the DMA as the European Union sees fit even if they don’t meet the stipulated requirements.

The report adds that Apple has privately argued with the EU that iMessage currently doesn’t meet the minimum number of active monthly users to fall under the DMA, meaning that Apple won’t be forced to open up its messaging service to interoperate with competitors such as Telegram and Whatsapp. Recent estimates put the number of active iMessage users at 1 billion worldwide, but a region-specific figure is hard to estimate, especially since Apple “has not disclosed any figures for several years,” adds the report.

The EU is currently in the process of considering whether to include iMessage in the final list of DMA-affected apps and services, the report adds. There is a possibility that the European Commission may launch an investigation to assess whether these services should be subjected to the new obligations outlined in the DMA.

Simultaneously, Microsoft is also making the same argument that Apple is pulling with its Bing search engine, with Financial Times claiming that Microsoft is pointing to Bing’s small 3% market share of search engines, which would put it at a “greater disadvantage” compared to Google.

In July, it was revealed that Apple confirmed its “gatekeeper” status to the EU. Under the DMA, companies will also be required to allow users to easily remove pre-installed apps, as well as end the prioritization of default apps and services over third-party ones. Finally, the DMA is set to force Apple to open up its platforms to third-party app stores and external payment providers.

Share this Article
note icon

Did you know?

Easily add Supercharged to your Home Screen and stay informed on the go! Get instant updates and breaking news stories via push notifications directly on your iPhone and Apple Watch. Just tap the share icon, then "Add to Home Screen," and be the first to know.

Have a tip for our newsroom? Securely reach out to us and tell us what you know. Your insight and information are invaluable to the work we do. Click here.

Have a tip for our newsroom? Securely reach out to us and tell us what you know. Your insight and information are invaluable to the work we do. 

Editor's Pick

Omar Moharram

Omar Moharram

Omar is Senior Editor at Supercharged and an Apple devotee since his early teens. He graduated with a computer engineering degree in 2022, which aids him in his technical content writing. Outside of work, he can often be found critiquing music or a film, or tinkering with a bass.

Read More

Craig Federighi

Age: 63
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