What you need to know
- An antitrust complaint has been lodged against Apple in France.
- A group of publishers and advertisers says new privacy measures will make it harder to track users.
- They claim the move is anti-competitive.
A new report says a group of publishers and advertisers in France has filed a complaint against Apple over claims that its new privacy measures, which will make it harder to track users, are anticompetitive.
According to The Wall Street Journal
The complaint has been filed by a group of trade associations, which claim that "few users will agree to be tracked", making it much harder for advertising companies to sell personalized ads. Whilst companies like Facebook have previously kicked up a stink about the move, WSJ notes this is the first formal legal challenge to the measure on antitrust grounds. From the report:
A new privacy feature in iOS 14 will ask users whether they would like to be tracked by companies so they can be shown personalized ads. One survey cited in the report says 85% of respondents indicated they would choose no if given the option.
According to the report, the trade group is seeking interim measures akin to an injunction to stop the move whilst the larger antitrust complaint is investigated. Apple has already delayed the move following pushback from big companies like Facebook.
The report notes that companies are worried they won't be able to charge as much to show ads to iPhone users who haven't agreed to the tracking, likely because it will be impossible to target users in the same way they did previously, making them less effective and reducing their value.
The crux of the antitrust matter is that permissions will not apply to adverts run by Apple, the report claims that estimates suggest this could generate Apple $3-$4 billion in 2020 on the back of personalized ads shown in the app store and on Apple News. An Apple spokesperson said this didn't count because Apple doesn't share the data with other companies and that the rules "apply equally to all developers - including Apple."
Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9
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