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(Pocket-lint) - The European Union has agreed on a set of new measures to force Big Tech companies to play nice with others.

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) is designed to level the playing field for smaller technology firms to compete with tech giants.

It includes rules that will force Apple and Google to allow third-party payment options in apps on their respective app stores. And chat apps, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and iMessage, will have to be interoperable with each other and competitors.

In addition, Google will have to offer alternatives to its own services on Android smartphones, possibly at the point of setup, while Apple will have to allow iPhone and iPad users to delete Safari and other company-specific apps and services.

There are concerns over security, of course, especially when it comes to chat and text applications. The BBC reports that Apple is "concerned that some provisions of the DMA will create unnecessary privacy and security vulnerabilities for our users".

Google is also worried that the new guidelines will make it harder to invest in innovation: "While we support many of the DMA's ambitions around consumer choice and interoperability, we're worried that some of these rules could reduce innovation and the choice available to Europeans," it said.

However, in-app payments have been a contentious issue for years now, with Epic Games and Spotify both having long-running legal or pubic spats with Big Tech. This new legislation could finally put that to bed - in EU member states, anyway.

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The DMA is just in proposal stage at present, although it has been agreed by European lawmakers. We await to hear a date for implementation.

Writing by Rik Henderson.