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Apple Inc.’s iMessage and Microsoft Corp.’s Bing search engine, Edge web browser and advertising service will avoid tough new European Union rules regulating Big Tech platforms. The investigation concluded that the service was not dominant enough to be regulated under the EU’s digital markets law, the European Commission announced Tuesday. Apple and Microsoft said in separate statements after the announcement that they welcomed the decision.

The decision by EU regulators is a victory for two U.S. companies that have had to adjust their services to meet new obligations and prohibitions designed to limit abuse of market power. The decision confirms a previous Bloomberg News report that the service would be exempt from the tech crackdown.

The EU’s DMA strikes at the heart of the business models of six of the world’s most powerful technology companies, which are seen as digital “gatekeepers.” Although some services are now set to be exempt, Microsoft and Apple are exempt from using Meta Platforms Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc. and TikTok owner ByteDance Ltd. will still face new obligations. Prevents abuse of dominance in other parts of the business.

For Microsoft, this includes the Windows operating system for PCs and the LinkedIn social media platform. For Apple, this includes the iOS mobile operating system, the App Store, and the Safari browser.

The law makes it illegal for a given company to favor its own services over those of its competitors. They are prohibited from combining personal data from different services, prohibited from competing using data collected from third-party sellers, and must allow users to download apps from competing platforms.

The new rules will take full effect from March 7.

© 2024 Bloomberg LP

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