FCC commissioner cries antitrust again after Beeper Mini debacle

iMessage is an Apple technology

It’s not completely clear if a FCC commissioner understands what he’s taking about, as he calls for antitrust action against Apple for its systematic shutdown of the iMessage-on-Android Beeper Mini app.

The United States government has multiple antitrust investigations looking into Apple’s control of the App Store and its services — sometimes with good reason. However, as with many cases involving technology, it seems even an FCC commissioner doesn’t quite understand the Apple versus Beeper Mini nuances.

A short tirade delivered by FCC commissioner Brendan Carr, first shared by The Verge, showed exactly what actions he’d like seen taken against Apple and demonstrated how little he knew about the situation. He seems to think of Beeper Mini as a kind of Robin Hood stealing iMessage from the rich and greedy Apple to deliver it to the masses that deserve blue bubble texts.

From Carr’s statements, it seems he believes Apple only offering iMessage on iPhone is an accessibility issue. He says if Beeper Mini brings iMessage to Android and Apple stops it, Apple is violating Part 14 of its rules on making services accessible.

Carr suggests that Apple purposefully degrades messages from Android, like by reducing image resolution. He doesn’t appear to be aware of the technical core underneath SMS, or the differences between it and Apple’s internet messaging protocol.

This isn’t the first nor last we’ll hear from political leaders about Apple shutting down Beeper Mini’s implementation of iMessage on Android. We’re not sure why the green bubble versus blue bubble battle has caught the eye of politicians, and it remains unsurprising that lawmakers and governmental officials of all stripes don’t seem fully briefed on technical matters.

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