Following a five-month investigation, the European Commission found that iMessage, Bing, Edge and Microsoft Advertising
Apple's iMessage and Microsoft's Bing search engine are exempted from new EU tech rules, EU antitrust regulators said on Tuesday, after accepting the companies' argument the services were not gateways to reach end-users.
The new Digital Markets Act takes effect in three weeks' time.
Its requirements include obliging Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet's Google, Amazon, Meta Platforms and ByteDance to allow third-party apps or app stores on their platforms and making it easier for users to switch from default apps to rivals.
The companies are also prohibited from favouring their services.
Following a five-month investigation, the European Commission found that iMessage, Bing, Edge and Microsoft Advertising "did not qualify as gatekeeper services," the EU executive said in a statement.
The Commission said Apple's App Store, iOS operating system and Safari browser will continue to be classified as gatekeepers as well as Microsoft's Linkedin social network and Windows operating system.
It said it had made "a thorough assessment of all arguments, taking into account input by relevant stakeholders".
It did not provide details of the companies' arguments.
Apple welcomed the Commission's decision.
"Consumers today have access to a wide variety of messaging apps, and often use many at once, which reflects how easy it is to switch between them," a spokesperson said.
Microsoft said Bing, Edge and Microsoft Advertising operate as challengers in the market.
"We will continue to engage with the Commission and industry at large to ensure Microsoft's other designated platforms comply fully with the DMA," a spokesperson said.
First Published: Feb 13 2024 | 7:03 PM IST