The EU adopted the DMA or Digital Markets Act, legislation that requires Apple to end some of its practices and offer a more open platform. For example, it is this EU legislation that obliges the firm to authorize competitors of the App Store for the distribution of apps on iOS. And it is also this legislation that forces Apple to authorize Apple Pay competitors to use the iPhone’s NFC module for contactless payments. The DMA also imposes interoperability with other messaging services, on apps designated by the European Commission.
In the United States, during a speech, a commissioner of the FCC (the telecommunications regulator in the United States), Brendan Carr, attacked the closed system imposed by Apple during a speech. He indicated that he asked the FCC to launch an investigation into whether Apple violated American rules when it blocked the Beeper Mini application’s access to the iMessage protocol.
As a reminder, thanks to reverse engineering work, Beeper Mini managed to offer an Android application that allows you to send iMessage text messages (instead of SMS) to iPhones. The system set up by this app was functional, but it was quickly blocked by Apple. “The FCC should launch an investigation to determine whether Apple’s decision to degrade the Beeper Mini functionality provided, which again promoted accessibility and usability, constituted an action that violated FCC rules.”explained the commissioner.
Today, I called for the @FCC to investigate whether Apple violated our Part 14 rules by blocking Beeper Mini – an app that enabled interoperability between iOS & Android messaging.
Beeper bridged the “blue bubble – green bubble” divide that Apple maintains as part of a broader… pic.twitter.com/vxefQZKDXb
— Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) February 12, 2024
Apple’s closed system is singled out
Furthermore, it seems that it is Apple’s closed system that bothers this FCC official. “I think there will be potentially negative consequences if Apple perpetuates a world in which it treats its own proprietary technologies in a unique way and degrades the performance of those of its competitors,” he explained. On the other hand, he believes that the “broader set of Apple’s exclusion practices” would merit in-depth investigations by competition agencies.
In any case, it would not be surprising if, after the DMA comes into force, other countries follow suit. For example, rumors already suggest that Japan could propose a text similar to the new EU legislation, to regulate digital giants.
By: Keleops AG