iMessage will reportedly get a reprieve from EU's interoperability regulation

European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulation, which will hit tech giants in 2024, will ask large-sized messaging apps to be interoperable with other services. However, Apple’s iMessage might not have to comply with this as the EU tentatively deduced that the service is not popular enough with business users, according to a report by Bloomberg.

While the final decision is not set in stone, Bloomberg’s report cited information from people familiar with the matter. Those sources say that the Bloc will not ask Apple to make iMessage interoperable. That means it won’t necessarily have to work with other services such as Messenger or WhatsApp.

In September, the EU listed 22 services that fall under the DMA from six companies including Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft. However, Apple’s iMessage wasn’t part of the list at that time — iOS, the App Store and Safari are still affected by the DMA.

Last month, Apple announced that it will adopt Rich Messaging Service (RCS) — an update to the SMS/MMS protocol — next year. While this move will allow Android users to send high-res photos and videos, their messages will still be displayed in green bubbles. So there won’t be an end to the green bubble vs. blue bubble debate.

Tim Cook and Apple have been historically reluctant to adopt RCS. At a conference last year, when a participant complained to the CEO of Apple about not being able to send videos in high resolution to his mother, Cook responded by saying “buy your mom an iPhone.”

While Apple might not play nicely with others when it comes to iMessage, other startups are busy creating solutions to bring iMessage to Android. Earlier this week, Beeper announced a new app called Beeper Mini that claims to have reverse-engineered the iMessage protocol. Automattic-owned has a limited iMessage implementation on Mac. OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei’s company Nothing tried a solution with the Sunbird app but it had to pause the project because of security implications.

Separately, Meta has started preparing WhatsApp to be interoperable, as found in the app code by WABetaInfo.

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