Under the European Union's new Digital Markets Act proposal, Apple and Google face far-reaching competition regulations that are designed to remake how they operate. The companies are, as you might expect, not pleased.
Apple said the DMA "will create unnecessary privacy and security vulnerabilities for our users," according to the Financial Times, while Google said the new "rules could reduce innovation and the choice available to Europeans."
The DMA, which was revealed on Thursday, is poised to force Apple to open up iMessage, its locked-down messaging platform, to receive texts and files from smaller rivals in the messaging space. The new rules would also force Apple to allow side-loading of iPhone apps outside of the iOS App Store and to allow developers to accept payments outside of it. The new rules extend beyond Apple: The EU will also force Google to ensure that customers can choose rival search engines, browsers and digital assistants, and the measure targets Amazon and Meta as well. Meta's messaging platform, WhatsApp, will also have to become interoperable with other messaging apps. Companies found to be violating the rules after they go into effect could face fines of up to 20% of their global revenue.
Needless to say, the tech giants are not happy about the legislation, which has been in development for more than a year, and fought fiercely against it. The pushback echoed companies' earlier criticisms of would-be antitrust reforms and lawsuits, particularly in the U.S.
Apple, for instance, has said that keeping other app stores off the iPhone helps protect users from malicious apps, and that its billing system allows it to take a commission that rewards its investments. It's made the arguments in litigation against Epic Games, and in response to U.S. Senate bills.
The DMA still requires final passage, but approval from the European government is viewed as a formality.