A New EU Rule may Force WhatsApp and iMessage to Open Up


WhatsApp and iMessagePixabay

If the European Union (EU) implements the proposed Digital Markets Act in October, messaging app makers may be forced to make their apps compatible.

According to the EU’s press release, “gatekeeper” businesses like as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and iMessage may be required to make their apps “interoperable” with smaller platforms at the request of developers.

What’s New?

“EU parliamentarians agreed that, if smaller messaging platforms request it, the larger messaging services (such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or iMessage) will have to open up and interoperate with them,” the EU stated in a statement.

“Users of small and large platforms would be able to send and receive messages, transmit files, and make video calls across messaging apps, providing them additional options.” In terms of a social network interoperability obligation, co-legislators agreed that such rules will be evaluated in the future.”

While the plans have yet to be passed into legislation by the European Union, the language might force firms like Meta Platforms and Apple to open up technologies that they previously had complete control over.

What’s More?

While the text does not specify whether large corporations must collaborate, the bloc has stated that it is attempting to break down barriers without overregulating small enterprises.

It is believed that achieving such interoperability, especially when high degrees of encryption are involved, will be difficult. In order to accommodate varied levels of interoperability, the final agreement is likely to have staggered dates.

Because they can, companies have opted to keep their chat platforms closed. Apple pushed a more open iMessage to carriers several years ago, and Meta has already integrated several of its messaging services. FaceTime was supposed to be open source, according to Steve Jobs.

Digging In More Details

That attitude, though, has shifted. According to internal Apple discussions obtained by The Verge, Apple did not want to offer iMessage to Android in order to maintain iPhone sales.

Companies would have a strong business need to comply with the demands if the EU passes the plan into legislation. The EU stated in the press release that fines of up to 10% of global yearly revenue might be imposed on firms.

Repeat infractions may result in a 20% punishment, and they may be barred from making acquisitions if they are found to be breaking the guidelines on a regular basis.

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