EU asks Microsoft users and rivals: Should Bing and iMessage play by new tech rules?

Priya Walia

EU antitrust regulators are reportedly soliciting opinions from Microsoft users and competitors regarding whether Bing, as well as Apple’s iMessage, should comply with new, stringent tech regulations.

The development follows the European Commission’s (EC) launch of investigations in September to assess whether Microsoft’s Bing, Edge and Microsoft Advertising, along with Apple’s iMessage, should be subject to the Digital Markets Act (DMA). These investigations intend to explore whether these services can be labeled core platform services under the DMA, Reuters reported.

The DMA seeks to establish a level playing field in the digital landscape, impacting major players including Microsoft, Apple, Google’s Alphabet, Amazon, Meta Platform, and ByteDance. Key provisions include the requirement for these companies to facilitate the inclusion of third-party apps and app stores on their platforms.

Additionally, these companies are required to make it easier for users to switch from default apps to competitive alternatives, amongst other obligations.

To gather relevant feedback, the EC has distributed questionnaires to stakeholders, requesting a rating of the significance of Microsoft’s three services, along with Apple’s iMessage, compared to competing offerings. Respondents were given a deadline of less than a week to provide their valuable input. The Commission intends to conclude its investigation within five months.

Although the European Commission’s move to involve users and rivals in shaping regulations is a step towards inclusivity, it remains to be seen how the feedback will be assimilated and whether it will impact the outcome. As discussions unfold, industry players await further updates on the potential compliance of Bing and iMessage with the Digital Markets Act.