It may take a couple of years for the ramifications of Europe’s proposed new digital regulations to crystallize. But on first look, it appears the regulations could lead to far-reaching changes for U.S. tech giants. And given the U.S. antitrust actions underway, it’s quite possible the companies will make changes on a global basis, not just in Europe.
Based on our coverage, and on the European Commission’s own cheat sheet, it’s conceivable Apple will have to allow other companies’ texting apps—such as Facebook’s Messenger—to be a default option on iPhones, instead of just iMessage. Google might not be able to jam all its apps onto Android devices anymore. It also seems likely Google will have to stop favoring its own services, such as Google Shopping, in search results. The net result of such changes would be to increase competition for big tech’s own services, possibly eroding some of their dominance.