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Apple iAd Drawing Antitrust Scrutiny 260

Posted by Soulskill
from the do-not-pass-go dept.
snydeq writes "US regulators are planning to investigate whether Apple is shutting out third parties such as Google and Microsoft in advertising on the iPhone and iPad under revised terms to its iAd mobile ad platform. Apple's revised developer terms prohibit ad analytics collection unless it is provided to an independent ad service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads. If enforced, the proposed terms would prohibit developers from using Google's AdMob service on the iPhone, according to AdMob founder Omar Hamoui. Developers using AdMob to deliver ads on cross-platform mobile apps would have to go through an alternative service for the version of the app running on an Apple platform, according to the terms. It's an impractical solution that some are calling restrictive."
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Apple iAd Drawing Antitrust Scrutiny

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  • by MemoryDragon (544441) on Friday June 11, 2010 @10:21AM (#32535134)

    They can on Android...

  • by frinkacheese (790787) on Friday June 11, 2010 @10:32AM (#32535254) Journal

    Quite. I was walking past Pizza Hut the other day and they were trying to send their bluetooth shite to my phone. Not being happy with their crap spamming my phone and noticing the little bluetooth ad box plugged in by the window, I popped in and turned it off.

    NO I DONT WANT A BLOODY PIZZA HUT SPECIAL OFFER.

  • by drerwk (695572) on Friday June 11, 2010 @10:38AM (#32535334) Homepage

    Apple telling these developers you can only use our ad service is just blatant abuse at this point.

    It is somewhat more subtle. One interpretation is that Apple is protecting user privacy. Reading the text of the TOS : http://mediamemo.allthingsd.com/20100412/is-apple-closing-off-the-iphone-to-rival-ad-networks/ [allthingsd.com] it seems pretty reasonable from an app user POV.
    I also think this is an informative take: http://davidbarnard.com/post/684540619/anti-competitive-and-potentially-creepy [davidbarnard.com]

  • by jpmorgan (517966) on Friday June 11, 2010 @10:41AM (#32535368) Homepage

    There are lots of apps in Android that come in both paid and ad-ware versions. It offers choice to users and to developers. Of course, on Android, as a developer, you can use any advertising network you want; Apple could certainly port iAd to Android, if they wished. Choice is a Good Thing(TM).

    Compare that to the iPhone. If it's just content you're interested in, you could always just do a website. Except with the latest version of Safari, Apple are trying to kill off web advertising too. So if you want reliable income from iPhone users, you've got to do a content-delivery app. Users then have to buy your app through the AppStore (and Apple get their cut). If it's free and ad-supported, all of the major competitors are locked out so you're stuck with iAds... and Apple gets their cut. And if you get pissed off and want to abandon the iPhone and switch to Android? Well, have fun rewriting your app from scratch: Apple banned you from using any compatibility platforms which would make it portable.

    Yes, in this particular incident we're talking about ads, and I hate annoying ads as much as the next person, but leaving it at that is short-sighted and naive. This isn't about eliminating ads and improving user-experience, no matter what Steve Jobs tells his adoring masses. This is competition Mafia-style. You can say 'this is all fine, it's Apple's platform and they can do what they like with it.' But it's also what's called 'rent-seeking' behavior and I don't know of any economist who doesn't consider it abusive and anti-competitive. Hence all the recent DOJ investigations.

  • by farble1670 (803356) on Friday June 11, 2010 @11:14AM (#32535890)

    not really.

    apple nor google put ads on iphone or android devices. the ads go in the apps that developers write. i don't like ads any more than the next guy, but developers should have the freedom to use them to try and obtain compensation for their time, if they so wish. if *you* don't like it, don't use the app.

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Friday June 11, 2010 @11:22AM (#32536018) Homepage

    It was on the Red Line, between Farragut North and Metro Center (were going into DC when we saw it)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, 2010 @11:26AM (#32536066)

    Except everyone but Google (and Bing presumably) are allowed access to all the precious user data they are supposedly protecting. They've aimed these new clauses at Ad services affiliated with their direct competitors.

    It's not about user privacy protection, it's about shutting Google and Microsoft out of their market. They're defending their iAd service from competition from AdMob because it's owned by Google by shutting AdMob out of their devices. The very essence of Anti-Competitive behaviour. Whether that anti-competitive behaviour is sufficiently egregious for sanctions depends on the outcome of the DOJ and FTC investigations.

  • by kumanopuusan (698669) <goughnourc@NoSpAm.gmail.com> on Friday June 11, 2010 @12:11PM (#32536716)
    This (or something operating on the same principle) has been around for more than 6 years on the Ginza line in Tokyo. The Japanese term for it roughly translates to large tunnel interior advertising. According to this article [tokyometro.jp], the first installation was in Atlanta in 2001. There's also a picture of the advertisement itself.

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