WhatsApp and Co. under the microscope: Are the messenger limits falling?

WhatsApp and Co. under the microscope: Are the messenger limits falling?

The messenger market is highly competitive, not least since WhatsApp's image has been scratched. The cartel guards are also taking a correspondingly close look. According to an interim report, it is also about breaking the boundaries between Signal, WhatsApp, Telegram and Co.

Whatsapp. Skype and Co .: Bundeskartellamt examines overarching messages and calls

The Bundeskartellamt is currently taking a closer look at the market for messenger and video services in Germany. According to an interim report published on Thursday, this is not just about the market power of individual providers. Among other things, one wants to assess whether the boundaries between the various services should fall , i.e. messages should also be sent from WhatsApp to Signal and vice versa.

One is currently investigating the question of what specific effects uncomplicated communication across different providers would have, according to Andreas Mundt, President of the Federal Cartel Office (source: dpa via Marbacher Zeitung). The key word is "interoperability", which has so far only been a pipe dream for current messengers. In the case of e-mails, on the other hand, nobody would think that a message could only ever be sent "within the provider".

"At the same time, many consumers have concerns about the security and protection of their personal data," explains the President. Even if it is not the sole focus, the investigation also deals with possible violations of consumer rights. The boom in video apps during the pandemic would affect a particularly large number of people to the detriment of consumers .

We have put together an overview of the best WhatsApp alternatives for you in the video :

Actually old plans are even more important today

The subjects of the investigations are, for example, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, FaceTime and iMessage, Google Meet, TeamViewer, Threema, Skype and Microsoft Teams, Slack, WebEx and Zoom. Open source programs are also checked. It just means that it could also mean merging data - this is exactly what Facebook and WhatsApp were harshly criticized for.

Corresponding plans, especially for interoperability, have been discussed in German politics for some time. With the ongoing investigation by the Federal Cartel Office, they are currently becoming more specific. Nothing has been decided yet, the cartel watchdogs are planning to present their results in the coming year. Then there should also be recommendations for action , for example on whether a law should prescribe interoperability.

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