Beeper moving on from its attempt to bring iMessage to Android users due to Apple closing all the possible loopholes. But that doesn’t mean the story is about to end here.
After a blog post from the company CEO saying he wants Beeper to be the “best chat app ever,” with or without iMessage support for Android, The New York Times reports that the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission want to understand this Apple vs. Beeper controversy better.
The publication says this duel has “raised questions in Washington about whether Apple has used its market dominance over iMessage to block competition and force consumers to spend more on iPhones than lower-priced alternatives.”
People familiar with the matter told the Justice Department’s antitrust lawyer met with Eric Migicovsky, the co-founder of Beeper, about this possible anticompetitive behavior by Apple. At the same time, the FTC posted in its blog that it would scrutinize “dominant” players that “use privacy and security as a justification to disallow interoperability” between services.
Although ultimately, this fight has more to do with Americans being used to texting through the Messages app instead of WhatsApp, Telegram, or another alternative, the government is worried about anticompetitive behavior from Apple, as it has been questioning the company about the App Store, Apple Pay monopoly, and so on.
In addition, iPhones account for 50% of the smartphones sold in the US, up from 41% in 2018, so even though I could name at least ten other reasons why customers should choose an iPhone over an Android phone, the DoJ and FTC have to at least look into this matter.
Apple didn’t comment about this NYT story, but a spokeswoman told the publication that Cupertino would continue to update iMessage because it couldn’t verify that Beeper keeps messages encrypted. “These techniques posed significant risks to user security and privacy, including the potential for metadata exposure and enabling unwanted messages, spam, and phishing attacks,” she said in a statement.
BGR will keep following the possible development of these investigations.