Antitrust Concerns Keep Mounting for Apple

Lora Bentley

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.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jun 12, 2010 6:15 AM tom B tom B  says:

It's all talk. Going after a company with Apple's modest market share is ludicrous. We all recall MSFT, a company with enormous market share merely got slapped on the wrist. It is hard to imagine they would do even that much with Apple, a company that actually succeeds by the merit of its products.

Jun 13, 2010 9:41 AM iphonerulez iphonerulez  says: in response to tom B

I sure hope you're right.  There are an awful lot of jealous Apple haters out there that are just waiting to see Steve Jobs and company fail.  I think that Apple product users and most of the developers are on Apple's side.  It's just companies that oppose Apple want to hobble Apple's mobile platform. 

Both AdMob and Adobe have their own agenda and want Apple to bend to them.  Apple should be able to do whatever it wants with its own market minority platform.  Not using Flash is beneficial to users and makes it easier for Apple to not have to deal with some third-party screw-ups.  As for AdMob, Apple shouldn't let a rival company have any of iOS analytic data.  Don't give private data to the enemy.  That's just bad business.


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