EU Seeks Feedback On Bing, Apple iMessage DMA Classification

Image credit: European Commission

European Commission ask whether Microsoft’s Bing, Edge, and Apple’s iMessage should be subject to Digital Markets Act (DMA)

European antitrust regulators are seeking feedback about certain products from Apple and Microsoft, as to whether these products should be subject to its strict new tech rules.

Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that the European Commission on Monday is now asking users (or competitors) of Apple iMessage and Microsoft’s Bing search engine, Edge browser, and Microsoft Advertising, whether those products should be subjected to the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The EU investigation began in September, after it emerged that Apple and Microsoft had contested the EU competition regulator labelling these services as core platform services under the DMA.

Gatekeeper platforms

Both Apple and Microsoft are said to be privately (and separately) arguing that their services aren’t large or powerful enough to justify earning similar gatekeeper restrictions under the Digital Markets Act.

Companies that are listed face fines of up to 10 percent of annual global turnover for DMA violations and 6 percent for contravening the DSA.

The European Commission published its list of designated DMA gatekeepers on 6th September, naming the companies themselves, as well as specific services they offer.

Those DMA ‘gatekeeper’ platforms are based on revenue and user numbers, and if official labelled as a Gatekeeper platform, will be required to meet a slew of interoperability and competition rules.

EU investigation

As part of the EU investigation as to whether Apple iMessage, or Microsoft Bing, Edge and Microsoft Advertising should be included in DMA classification, the European Commission earlier this month reportedly sent out questionnaires, asking rivals and users to rate the importance of Microsoft’s three services and Apple’s iMessage versus competing services.

The people familiar with the matter told Reuters that the EU watchdog had asked if there was anything specific to the services that business users rely on and how they fit into the companies’ ecosystems.

It also asked for the number of users using the services.

Respondents were given less than a week to provide feedback.

The Commission wants to complete its investigation within five months, Reuters reported.