The Parliament and the European Council have agreed on a series of rules within the framework of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) which, if approved, would force large messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Messenger or iMessage to open your networks to other messaging applications.
The 8-hour talks between the Parliament, the Council and the European Commission have culminated in the agreement that the big technology companies must open their messaging apps so that they are interoperable, at the risk of receiving fines of up to 10% of your total worldwide turnover in the previous fiscal year, or worse, in case of recidivism.
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Messages from one application to another
Europe continues to work on the greatest regulation of the digital market, known by its acronym DMA, focused on large technology companies and which can potentially cause a great series of changes in our mobile phones and services. The last agreement of the legislators – which must be finalized and approved by Parliament and the Council before coming into force – is aimed at to companies named gatekeepersgiants like Google, Apple, Meta or Amazon.
The provisional text calls gatekeepers or gatekeepers to those that provide platform services such as social networks or search engines, with a market capitalization of at least 75 billion euros (or annual annual turnover of 7.5 billion), offering services such as browsers, messaging or social networks with at least 45 million monthly users in the European Union or 10,000 annual commercial users.
These companies will have to open their messaging platforms to smaller third-party applications, so that users of these “small” apps can send messages, files and make video calls between different apps, thus having the option to choose which one to use. The text specifically mentions WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and iMessage and the need to be interoperable with smaller messaging platforms, although not necessarily with each other, although it would be logical.
The idea is that users of a messaging application can communicate with other people regardless of whether they use different platforms.
In this way, the utopia of send messages to WhatsApp from Signal, or from Google Messages to iMessage, something Apple strongly opposes. From a technical point of view, it’s something we haven’t seen since the days of Windows Live Messenger and apps like Trillian, which today is only possible with special apps like Beeper. The technical details of this interoperability will be finalized by legislators in the future.
In case of not complying with these requirements, the infringing companies will face a fine of 10% of your total worldwide turnover in the previous year, or 20% in case of recurrence. For systematic infringements there will be even more serious penalties, such as a ban on acquiring other companies for a certain period of time.
If approved, the technology companies will have six months to implement the changes or risk fines of up to 20% of their global turnover.
Still pending approval, the Digital Markets Act has the potential to cause radical changes in the mobile ecosystem in the future, also including the requirement that users can freely choose browser, virtual assistant and search enginein addition to forcing it to be possible to uninstall the apps that come with the mobile.
The legal text is now pending to be finalized before being submitted to votes by the Parliament and the Council. If approved, it will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union and the technology companies will have six months to apply the changes.
Via | TheVerge