Apple's iMessage may have dodged a regulatory bullet by being too small... in Europe

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Apple's iMessage may have dodged a regulatory bullet by being too small... in Europe
The EU has been doubling down on regulating tech giants with the aim of allowing competition to thrive.  For one, it has been investigating Apple (alongside other tech giants) for being a monopoly and has been working on ways to limit its power. However, now Bloomberg reports that it seems the EU is leaning towards letting iMessage off the hook.

EU seems to find iMessage is not that popular to require a regulatory leash


iMessage was among the Apple services that are being investigated for anti-competitive practices by the EU. Other Apple services that are still under scrutiny include the App Store, Safari, and iOS in general. The investigation on iMessage continued on for five months, and EU watchdogs have now reportedly determined the service isn't to be regulated for anti-competitiveness... well, because it isn't big enough in Europe.

iMessage is extremely popular in the U.S., but in Europe, it isn't as much. At least when it comes to business users. However, the information about the investigation isn't official yet and comes from "people close to the matter", sources that have remained unnamed. According to the info, EU regulators seem to think that iMessage isn't big enough in Europe and thus doesn't qualify as being an "important gateway".

Apple is far from being able to sigh of relief though. The investigation will be concluded in February 2024, so there's plenty of time for a swift change of direction. On top of that, other Apple services will not be allowed to roam freely on the market. For example, the Digital Markets Act will force Apple to open up iOS for rival app stores, which the company may actually do as soon as next year.

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These investigations and regulations can force big tech giants to make big changes to how their services operate within the EU, and could even have effects globally. One such regulation has already forced Apple to switch to USB-C charging ports instead of the good-old Lightning.

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