Have you ever thought if all your messengers were integrated with each other?? A European Union bill wants to make this mandatory in the bloc’s countries. The targets are services from some giants such as WhatsApp, Messenger, iMessage and even Telegram. The intention is that it is possible to send content from one to the other.
The first two in theory would make even more sense, as they both belong to the same company and we’ve recently seen the integration of Messenger with Instagram’s DM. However, iMessage is an Apple messaging service exclusive to the company’s devices. The fact that it is a separate company also raises security concerns.
However, this is not what the law takes into account. The Digital Markets Act, of the European Union, wants to make this integration mandatory for all companies that have more than 45 million monthly active users and at least 10,000 active corporate customers annually on the European continent.
New European Union law
In case of non-compliance, the fine can be quite heavy, reaching 10% of the companies’ annual revenue, which, in the case of these giants, is an exorbitant amount. In cases of recidivism, the fine can double and reach an incredible 20% of the companies’ revenues.
The law goes much further and creates rules for selling on marketplace services, where a company cannot prioritize its own product. However, the most controversial point is integration, as it forces, for example, a Signal user to be able to send a message to someone who uses WhatsApp, which in theory favors the smaller platform. In addition, the services must be available for all platforms, which directly affects iMessage, which is exclusive to Apple products.
“This agreement seals the economic part of our ambitious reorganization of our digital space in the European Union’s internal market. We will quickly work on assigning gatekeepers based on objective criteria. Within 6 months of appointment, they will have to fulfill their new obligations. Through effective enforcement, the new rules will bring greater contestability and fairer conditions for consumers and business users, which will allow for more innovation and choice in the market. We take this common effort seriously: no company in the world can turn a blind eye to the prospect of a fine of up to 20% of its global turnover if it repeatedly breaks the rules,” said Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton.
The rule still needs to be approved by the Council of the European Parliament, but the authorities guarantee that there is already an agreement for the law to be passed. What remains to wait are possible changes that may occur in the text. After approval, companies will have a period of six months to adapt.
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