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As part of a major new regime for big tech, Europe says yes to messaging interoperability

The European Union reached an agreement on the details of a major competition reform that will subject the most powerful, intermediating tech platforms to a set of upfront rules on how they can and cannot operate with fines of up to 10% of global annual turnover if they fail to comply (or even 20% for repeat violations).

Companies must also have at least 45 million monthly end users in the EU and 10,000+ annual business users to be designated as "gatekeepers" and thus fall under the purview of the DMA.

Interoperability for messaging platforms is one of the key requirements agreed upon by the EU's co-legislators, which means that smaller platforms will be able to request that dominant gatekeeper services open up on request and allow their users to exchange messages, send files, or make video calls across messaging apps, expanding choice and counteracting the typical social platform network effects that create innovation-chilling service lock in. That could be hugely significant in allowing consumers who disagree with the policies of a behemoth like Meta, which owns Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, but are unable to switch to a competitor because their social graph is held by the gatekeeper, to actually leave without losing the ability to message their friends. The first basic messaging features will be user-to-user messages, video and voice calls, as well as basic file transfer (photos, videos).

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