The European Union has been making efforts to regulate the power of tech giants through the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which aims to combat monopoly and gatekeeping in the tech market. Apple is reportedly working on appealing to the EU about the inclusion of the App Store and iMessage in the DMA.
The EU claims that the App Store and iMessage are gatekeeper monopoly services, which would force Apple to allow alternatives to In-App Purchases, sideloading, and other changes to how Apple operates. Apple’s dispute is focused on the argument that iMessage is not big enough in Europe to be considered a gatekeeper service, and they also want to discuss what part of the App Store will fall under the regulations.
The appeal has not yet been officially filed, with the deadline for that being Thursday, November 16. It will soon become clear what Apple’s arguments for the appeal will be. However, this appeal does not delay the need to follow the rules, and the deadline for Apple to comply with the DMA is still by March 2024.
It is anticipated that Apple will not be able to fully escape these new rules, as they are already working on a way to allow side-loading on iPhones, and potential changes to iMessage may be in the pipeline. If iMessage ends up staying under the DMA as a gatekeeper, Apple could be forced to make it compatible with smaller chat apps.