The EU’s newly agreed-upon digital markets act could require messaging app developers to make their apps work together if it ends up coming into force in October as expected. In the EU press release, it says that lawmakers agreed that the gatekeeper agencies behind WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, or iMessage would have to make their apps interoperable with smaller messaging platforms at the developer’s request. While the law isn’t passed yet the EU language could compel agencies like apple and Meta to open up systems that they formerly controlled completely. For example, you can send iMessage using the Apple iMessage app which only runs on its devices. It sounds like the EU wants to force Apple into letting other messaging apps interface with iMessage meaning apps interface with iMessage meaning you could have a conversation between an iMessage user on an iPhone and a telegram user on a Windows PC. The language in the press release is unclear on whether the big apps would have to work together e.g. WhatsApp users being able to send to iMessage or iMessage vs. android green bubble disputes but the EU says it is trying to knock down the walls around gardens without over-regulating small businesses out of existence. If the EU proposal passes there’ll be an extremely pressing business reason to comply with its orders to open up. As the EU states in its press release, it can fine an agency up to 10 percent of its global annual revenue. It jumps up to 20 percent for repeated infringements and the commission is even able to prevent the agency from making acquisitions if it’s deemed to methodically break the rules.
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