EU requires iMessage and WhatsApp for communication with smaller messaging services

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On Thursday, the European Union announced plans to introduce new legislation that would require major messaging services — including iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger — to send and receive messages, calls, videos and files from smaller competitors.

The rule, part of the larger proposed Digital Markets Act (DMA), would require major messaging platforms to operate their services with smaller messaging platforms. Services that should work between platforms include sending messages, making video calls, and even sending files.

The rule would apply to any company with at least 45 million monthly active end users and 10,000 annually active business users in Europe, as noted by TechCrunch.

If the new legislation is not complied with, violators can face fines of up to 10% of global annual sales or up to 20% for repeated violations.

Of course, many doubt the security of such an interoperable platform, but Andreas Schwab, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the file, believes that this can be done safely.

“Parliament has always been clear that interoperability has to come to messaging,” Andreas told TechCrunch. “It will come – at the same time it must also be secure. If the telecom regulators say it will not be possible to deliver end-to-end encrypted group chats within the next nine months, then it will come as soon as it is possible, there will be no doubt. about existence.”

The legislation would also force platforms to let users choose which web browsers, search engines and virtual assistants they use.

The DMA has yet to be finalized pending the adoption of the legislative text by Parliament and Council. Currently, there is no proposed timeline for when the implementation of interoperable functions should occur.

In November 2020, Big Tech companies, including Apple and Google, were invited to participate in talks about the DMA.

The primary goal of the DMA is to curb anti-competitive growth for tech giants such as Apple, Google and Meta (formerly Facebook Inc.). It’s the same legislation that suggested Apple allow alternative app stores to allow fair competition on its platforms.

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