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New EU law could open up messaging and app buying





New rules designed to rein in the dominance of big tech companies are coming into force in the EU.


Under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), technology giants such as Google and Apple could be made to open up their services and platforms to other firms and developers.


Messaging apps, for example, could be required to work with smaller rival applications.


The legislation will not apply in the UK because of Brexit.


In the European Union, the act will change the rules for companies of large size and influence - the so-called gatekeeper firms.


But some of the larger firms have expressed concern about the DMA's potential impact on security and innovation.


Under the DMA, smaller messaging apps will be able to ask the tech gatekeepers to allow their users to send and receive messages via the bigger firm's platform.


However, large firms will not be required to make more advanced features interoperable immediately. Under the plans, audio and video calls between two individual users or groups of end users on different platforms will not happen for four years.


The larger firms may also be required to allow their users to chose different app stores.


Speaking to tech news website Wired, Gerard de Graaf, an EU official cited the example of an iPhone user, who should "now be able to download apps not just from the App Store but from other app stores or from the internet".


The European Commission has also released a video explaining the purpose of the act.

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