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Google Slams Apple Over iPhone Ad Ban 562

crimeandpunishment writes "This real-life clash of the titans could be much more interesting than the movie. Today Google fired the latest volley in its war of words with Apple over mobile advertising. In a blog posting, the head of Google's mobile ad service, Admob, had harsh words for Apple's new restrictions concerning the iPhone and iPad ... calling them a threat to competition. There's a lot of money at stake ... the US mobile ad market, which is about $600 million, is expected to more than double by 2013."
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Google Slams Apple Over iPhone Ad Ban

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    • by sortadan ( 786274 ) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @12:43AM (#32520030)
      When it's Apple and their closed platform apparently...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by aliquis ( 678370 )

        The mac fanatics will just say the usual:
        "but Apple isn't in a monopoly on the phone market!"

        And hence they can't do anything wrong and you will be moderated troll.

      • by fredmosby ( 545378 ) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @05:03AM (#32521318)
        Apple literally does not have a monopoly on smart phones.

        Of coarse that doesn't make a ban on Google's advertisements OK. But the article says Google's ads themselves are not being banned, just the collection of personal data under certain circumstances. The article itself doesn't say that Apple is collecting the kind of data it is preventing Google from collecting. If Apple isn't collecting that data then it doesn't gain a competitive advantage by banning Google's data collection, it just levels the playing field while allowing Apple to protect user's privacy.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          What's amazing is Apple has a monopoly when they're being jerks but when there's a conversation about marketshare they only have 3%.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )

        It's not a monopoly when, not only do they not have a controlling share of the market, they also don't have the largest share of the market. In legal terms, antitrust starts to apply when you have enough of a market share to act as if you had a monopoly (e.g. you can raise prices arbitrarily).

        When you have a minority of the market, you can do whatever you want with your closed platform, because it won't (seriously) distort the market. Apple could, for example, require you to buy a beret and turtleneck

  • by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @12:39AM (#32520004) Homepage Journal

    One of the reasons Android is an important project for Google -- it makes them little, if any, money, despite a half-baked plan to sell their own handset -- is exactly this scenario. Google's fear was that a single vendor would have too much control to cut them out. So Android was birthed, and there are many vendors. And for those who might not know, any Android handset vendor has the full ability to replace Google with Bing, or to cut out Google ads in other forms, yet the "fragmentation" of the market ensures that there isn't an overly one-sided power distribution.

    So is Apple being testy because of Android....or is this the gameplan all along, and Android was a good pre-emptive strike?

    • by Kristoph ( 242780 ) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @01:09AM (#32520200)

      In fairness, Google elected to compete with Apple in the mobile space with Android, the desktop space with the Google OS, and with a web browser (based on a technology currently largely driven by Apple no less). Then, when Apple tried to buy AdMob Google pulled the stool from under the deal.

      If you were Apple (which is to say Steve Jobs) would you not be rather pissed? I certainly would be. If I had a legal recourse to retaliate in a business context I almost certainly would.

      You've got to hand it to Apple they played this one really well. The FTC just approved of the Google/AdMod deal on the strength of Apple competition and so Apple feels pretty confident they can compete aggressively with little chance of the government crying foul.

      • by sznupi ( 719324 )

        Well...Google bought Android team quite a bit before iPhone announcement, plus they don't actually have any consumer "Google OS" (and of you refer to ChromeOS, that's a different thing, aimed mostly at tablets and netbooks; in the first case, also made public before Apple move, in the second - Apple claims they are not interested). As for browser...c'mon, Apple would be pissed after building large part of it on someone's else work, too?

        • Are you suggesting that Eric Schmidt wasn't sniffing around outside the board room when they recused him from the discussion?

    • by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @01:15AM (#32520232)

      So is Apple being testy because of Android....or is this the gameplan all along, and Android was a good pre-emptive strike?

      I don't think so. Google was one of the most important partners when the iPhone got its start: Google search, Maps, Youtube it was all on there. Then they decided they wanted a piece of the pie instead of depending on Apple and started directly competing with them making inane jabs in the process comparing Apple to North Korea [nytimes.com] and targeting them in their presentations [huffingtonpost.com]. Don't start a fight if you can't take a punch.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tcr ( 39109 )

        "Then they decided they wanted a piece of the pie instead of depending on Apple"
        Google bought Android in July, 2005. Apple announced the iPhone in January, 2007.
        You're saying they launched their own platform as a reaction to the iPhone?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gig ( 78408 )

      So what you're saying is that Google makes no money from Android but rather uses it as a tool to gain advantage in the mobile advertising market? Android is not a legitimate mobile phone software business but rather a way to leverage Google's Web ad monopoly into mobile ads? I don't think you're helping Google by telling the truth about them. Just say they are "open" in spite of their black box ads and Android and Chrome OS both having closed native C API's and remind us again that they're not evil. Because

  • i'm pretty sure the anti-monopoly laws were for industries consumers wanted to protect
  • Cry me a river (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PapayaSF ( 721268 )
    So Google gets into smartphones, browsers and operating systems, and then cries "Foul!" when Apple gets into online advertising? (OK, I know Apple's hardware restrictions are a valid issue, but still....)
    • Re:Cry me a river (Score:5, Insightful)

      by recoiledsnake ( 879048 ) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @12:53AM (#32520100)

      So Google gets into smartphones, browsers and operating systems, and then cries "Foul!" when Apple gets into online advertising? (OK, I know Apple's hardware restrictions are a valid issue, but still....)

      Google is crying foul not because Apple got into advertising, but because Apple banned companies owned by makers of other mobile operating systems from using analytics(critical for ads) on the iDevices. i.e Apple is specifically targeting Google just like it targeted Adobe last time around

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        Google started this whole dust-up when they went after Apple. See Gruber's thoughts on the matter:


        "There’s no question it’s a dick move on Apple’s part. But what’s the argument against it? That Google gets a pass for being dicks to Apple, and Apple ought to just sit there and take it?"

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by Kristoph ( 242780 )

        Do you think Google will permit iAD advertising in their any of their web based products? Why should Apple not institute a reciprocal restriction?

        • As far as I know, Google does not ban me from using any ad engine I like on my web pages, even when rendering them inside Chrome.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by coolgeek ( 140561 )

        "Critical for Ads" my ass. Advertisers have worked almost exclusively without analytics until about a decade ago.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          As dakameleon said, things change. The market is different now compared to a decade ago. I'm not really sure what you are trying to say.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        This is not only against google, google is the biggest target, but they hit Microsoft Yahoo and others as well, and also the developers who now have one and only one ad vendor which can provide them the revenue for their free versions, which means they are at the merits of Big Brother to give them a decent share.
        Which in the long run will not happen, Apple will take more and more of that share since there is no competition.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by JakeD409 ( 740143 )
      You invalidated your entire comment in the parentheses. Google isn't crying "Foul!" over Apple's foray into online advertising, they're crying "Foul!" over Apple's hardware restrictions.
    • Re:Cry me a river (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jpmorgan ( 517966 ) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @01:00AM (#32520148) Homepage

      Uh, no. Google is crying "Foul!" because Apple is banning developers from using Google's ad platform in their apps. Conveniently, right at the same time as they introduce their own: iAd. Yes, ads suck and it's weird defending an advertising platform, but this is Google: the company that made ads useful and unoffensive (and just that slight bit creepy).

      Apple are truly becoming the kings of rent-seeking and platform lock-in. It's far worse than anything Microsoft ever did.

      • by inKubus ( 199753 )

        Apple are truly becoming the kings of rent-seeking and platform lock-in. It's far worse than anything Microsoft ever did.

        Dude, that's how Apple has always been. Except when Steve left for a while. I think this is kindof his legacy, and I don't think he has a lot of time so he's going full-bore for the brass ring.

        Microsoft was always about putting as many copies out there as possible. Apple wants to be the exclusive cult.

      • http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/06/apples-evil-genius-plan-to-punk-the-web-and-gild-the-ipad.ars [arstechnica.com]

        Combined with Apple's HTML5 demo site that shut out non-Safari web browsers, it starting to look like Apple is becoming a very anti-Web company... even more so than Microsoft.

        I've been a Mac fan since 2004, but Apple has gone too far: They want to see then end of the Web and the personal computer now. They can go to hell.

    • by Anpheus ( 908711 )

      This isn't Google throwing a hissy fit over Apple being a new competitor, this is Google complaining that Apple decided to retroactively change the developer agreement and prohibit developers from using third party analytics and advertising, making iAd the only advertising service a developer can use in iOS apps.

      This goes much further than say, any Microsoft example ever has been. It'd be like if Microsoft not only included IE by default (just as Apple adds new APIs or apps with each release) but made it so

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by aliquis ( 678370 )

      ... ok, and then the next step is Google blocking Apple users from YouTube.

      Too bad they don't own Facebook to, then it would had the possibility of getting really fun :D

  • Walled Garden (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ixyfang ( 1830256 )
    This is why there aren't any ads for Six Flags inside Disney world.
  • by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @12:57AM (#32520124) Homepage

    Apple's excuse is, they want to protect their customers privacy. In fact they treat them like 6 year olds but it isn't the issue, it is their excuse.

    Google, still thinking entire planet thinks they are "good guys" has major problems with their corporate culture and actions based on that. From "updater" to "Google Chrome" with default settings, Google is always blamed (rightfully) for not respecting users privacy. Some already calls them private data leeching vampires.

    Steve Jobs saw this coming and used "privacy" as excuse to lock down the "real" advertising (location/analytics) to their own network. Now Google pops up and complains, people will say to them "look to mirror".

    Some panel of advertisers or some people from analytics community should be speaking, not them. Anyway, too late now.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, 2010 @01:33AM (#32520324)

      > Some already calls them private data leeching vampires.
      Generally just people who have an entirely different grudge with google, usually something along the lines of sour grapes that google doesn't let them unfairly twist the search/ad results in their favor.

      > Steve Jobs saw this coming and used "privacy" as excuse to lock down the "real" advertising (location/analytics) to their own network. Now Google pops up and complains, people will say to them "look to mirror".

      Steve wants to own his cake and eat it too. First apple makes the hardware, which it owns. Oh, but you can install third party apps! But only through the store which apple owns and controls. Oh, but it's also a communication device, it has web access! But apple controls what aspects of the web you're allowed to use. Apple and Google are on the extreme opposite ends of the lock-in control freak scale. Google may want a finger in every pie, but they don't prevent any other company from entering any layer of the market at any time.

  • Hardball (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dr Max ( 1696200 )
    Google should play hardball by creating more non-ad material (of high value to apple users), and displaying it in the same way the adds are displayed. Thus if the appleans want to consume it they will need to turn off the ad blocker, or switch to andriod. Be imaginative you only have one chance at suicide.
  • by mTor ( 18585 )

    Why doesn't Google allow 3rd party ad networks? Why doesn't Google allow 3rd party ad networks in their SERPs (search engine result pages)?

    Google's great at crying and bitching but they're the absolute worst monopolist in ad space today.

    • Ask a sensible question, get modded as troll.

    • by Gudeldar ( 705128 ) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:56AM (#32521044)
      Talk about the a false equivalency. Google owns their web site and search results. Apple doesn't own the mobile apps in the app store, at least until they change the developer agreement to say they do. A real equivalent would be if Google said that anyone who wanted to show up in their search results had to use AdSense or they were banned from the index. People would be outraged, and rightly so. The FTC/DOJ would come down them very hard if they ever tried anything like that.
  • by Anonymous Freak ( 16973 ) <`moc.cam' `ta' `revird.suirp'> on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:31AM (#32520890) Journal

    Do I complain about Apple's closed system, or Google's privacy concerns?

    Man, if only Microsoft were in this story, I'd have the geek-complaint-hat-trick!

  • I never thought i would say this but darn it, we are lucky Apple didnt win against Microsoft. Apple will if given enough market share make Microsoft look pretty tame.

    Steve seems intent on using any leverage against competitors no matter how bad the outcome is for the customers. Microsoft does this too but not at this level, probably because of antitrust concerns.

    Apple seemed like a nice company but recent moves has changed that perception almost completely. If given the opportunity they will be just as bad for computing in general as Microsoft has been for the last 20 years.

    Steve Jobs are a huge douchebag and the best we can hope for is cooperation between Apple and Microsoft. That way they can stab each others back instead of ruining computing for the rest of us.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.