A mind-blowing iMessage change could allow you to send texts to WhatsApp

YOU could soon be sending iMessages directly to your friends on WhatsApp, under new EU rules proposed on Thursday.

The law aims to curb the power of tech titans like Apple and Facebook owner Meta by forcing them to integrate their services.



NINTCHDBPICT000718052461Photo credit: Getty

If passed, messaging apps like WhatsApp would have to make themselves available to competing platforms.

That means you can send a WhatsApp text to someone on Signal or a Telegram message to a friend on Facebook Messenger.

If you want to contact someone through one of these services, you can currently only do so through their respective apps.

The new rule, which is part of sweeping changes proposed in the Digital Markets Act, is yet to be approved by the European Parliament and is unlikely to be implemented before 2023.

According to an EU statement on the law: “The biggest messaging services (like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger or iMessage) have to open up and work with smaller messaging platforms if they ask for it.

“Users of small or large platforms could then exchange messages, send files or make video calls via messaging apps, giving them more choice.

“Regarding the interoperability obligation for social networks, the co-legislators have agreed that such interoperability provisions will be evaluated in the future.”

If the rules are approved, it would mean a big change for tech giants, branded by the EU as the internet’s “gatekeepers”.

Negotiators from the European Parliament and EU member states announced the deal late Thursday.

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) has sped up the bloc’s legislative processes and aims to protect consumers and give competitors a better chance of surviving against the world’s mighty tech juggernauts.

The law contains about 20 rules, in many cases targeting practices by big tech that violate the bloc’s competition rules but which Brussels is struggling to enforce.

Once implemented, the law will give Brussels unprecedented authority to oversee the giants’ decisions, particularly when they pull out the checkbook to buy up promising startups.

The DMA imposes myriad obligations on Big Tech, including Apple’s obligation to open its app store to alternative payment systems.

It’s a demand that the iPhone maker has fiercely resisted, particularly in its feud with Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite.

Google is asked to offer users of Android smartphones clear alternatives to its search engine, the Google Maps app or its Chrome browser.

A Google spokesman told AFP that the US internet giant “will take time to study the final text and work with regulators to implement it.”

“While we support many of the DMA’s ambitions regarding consumer choice and interoperability, we remain concerned that some of the rules may limit innovation and the choice available to Europeans,” the spokesman said.

Apple would also be forced to relax its grip on the iPhone, allowing users to uninstall its Safari web browser and other company-imposed apps that users can’t currently delete.

In a statement, Apple was quick to express regret over the law, saying it was “concerned that some provisions of the DMA create unnecessary privacy and security vulnerabilities for our users.”

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The law’s primary purpose is to avert the years of lawsuits and lawsuits needed to punish Big Tech’s monopolistic behavior.

The cases can otherwise result in hefty fines, but do little to change the way the giants do business.

“The gatekeepers – they have to take responsibility now,” said EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager.

“A number of things they can do, a number of things they can’t do and of course that gives everyone a fair chance,” she added.

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Fry Electronics Team

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