Apple’s iMessage and Microsoft’s Bing Exempted from EU Tech Rules

In a recent development, Apple and Microsoft have secured exemptions for their iMessage and Bing search engine, respectively, from the new European Union tech rules. These exemptions were granted after both companies successfully convinced antitrust regulators that their services do not serve as gateways for businesses to reach end-users.

The European Union’s Digital Markets Act, set to take effect in three weeks’ time, aims to promote fair competition in the tech industry by requiring major players like Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, Meta Platforms, and ByteDance to allow third-party apps or app stores on their platforms. Additionally, the act mandates these companies to facilitate easier switching to rival services and prohibits them from favoring their own services over competitors’.

Following a thorough five-month investigation, the European Commission concluded that iMessage, Bing, Edge, and Microsoft Advertising do not meet the criteria to be classified as gatekeeper services. As a result, these services have been exempted from the regulations outlined in the Digital Markets Act.

However, certain services from Apple and Microsoft, such as Apple’s App Store, iOS operating system, Safari browser, Microsoft’s LinkedIn social network, and Windows operating system, will continue to be classified as gatekeepers. These services are subject to the regulations specified in the Digital Markets Act, aimed at fostering a more competitive landscape in the tech industry.

The decision to exempt iMessage and Bing from the new EU tech rules underscores the complexities involved in determining which services qualify as gatekeepers. While Apple and Microsoft have successfully navigated this regulatory landscape, the broader implications of the Digital Markets Act are poised to reshape the dynamics of competition in the European tech sector.

As the tech industry continues to evolve, regulatory frameworks like the Digital Markets Act play a crucial role in ensuring fair competition, fostering innovation, and protecting consumer interests. The exemptions granted to iMessage and Bing highlight the nuanced approach taken by regulators in addressing the unique challenges posed by digital platforms. Stay tuned for further updates as the implementation of the Digital Markets Act unfolds in the coming weeks.


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