In the shadow of the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA) coming into enforcement on March 6, a report has surfaced indicating potential exemptions for Microsoft and Apple from certain aspects of this regulation.
Sources have disclosed to Bloomberg that the EU is likely to exclude Microsoft's Bing search engine, Edge web browser, and its suite of advertising services from DMA scrutiny due to their limited impact in the market. Despite these potential exemptions, Microsoft is proactively modifying its Windows 10 and 11 operating systems to avoid any conflict with DMA rules. These modifications include the enhancement of system component transparency, allowing the removal of any application from the operating systems, and improving interoperability.
Microsoft and LinkedIn Adjustments
Specifically, Microsoft has been concentrating on aligning notable operating system components with the DMA requirements, highlighting efforts to ensure user autonomy over installed apps. Additionally, reports suggest that Microsoft's professional networking platform, LinkedIn, will undergo alterations to comply with the DMA. However, the nature of these changes has not been specified.
Google and Apple's Response to DMA
Google has also been active in preparing for the DMA, recently announcing the introduction of new search and browser choice options on Android devices within Europe. Additionally, Google is set to refine its Search services, which includes the removal of integrated Google Flights information as an apparent gesture towards compliance.
Meta is also making changes, allowing users to unlink their accounts across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. As part of these new privacy measures, users will have the option to operate Meta's Messenger service independently of a Facebook profile. Furthermore, those who have previously interconnected their Facebook and Instagram accounts will now have the opportunity to de-link them.
As for Apple, there are indications that its messaging service, iMessage, may be deemed non-dominant in the European market and thus could be exempt from DMA regulations. Despite this, Apple may be compelled to make substantial modifications to its iOS and iPadOS App Stores in Europe, which could involve enabling sideloading capabilities. Sideloading is the practice of installing apps on a device from sources other than the official app store, which is currently not permitted on Apple devices.
The DMA aims to establish a level playing field in the digital market, setting stricter operational criteria for large tech companies and enhancing consumer choice and competition. With the deadline fast approaching, major tech industry players are rapidly adjusting their products and services to align with the new legislative landscape.