Days after Apple surpassed Microsoft as the world's most valuable technology company, and weeks after rumors began to fly that federal antitrust investigators were digging deeper into the Cupertino, Calif., company's iPhone developer agreement, reports said the Department of Justice was also looking at its digital music strategy and the iTunes store for anticompetitive practices.
Well, the hits just keep coming. On Thursday, InfoWorld reported antitrust investigators are also looking into the terms of Apple's iAd program. Writer Agam Shah explains:
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 or advertising products on the iPhone, said AdMob founder Omar Hamoui in a blog post.
It's rather ironic that these same regulators put Google through the paces before they finally approved its AdMob acquisition, noting that they did so primarily because Apple was entering the mobile ad space and could give the Google-AdMob combination some real competition. Now Google is crying foul because the new kid is blocking it out of the market. How quickly circumstances change.
According to The Huffington Post, on one hand the change in Apple's developer terms could prove beneficial to the smaller mobile ad services out there that wouldn't have as much of a chance to get a piece of the action otherwise. On the other, those same changes could prove detrimental to the small company that might be attractive to Microsoft or other companies with their own mobile platform that are looking for an acquisition.
The FTC has declined to comment on the rumored investigation, InfoWorld reports.