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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

Report says FTC to probe Apple effect on mobile ad market

US— Officials at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) look set to investigate concerns that changes to Apple’s developer rules could potentially restrict competition in the mobile advertising market, according to a Bloomberg report.

The newswire cites unnamed sources saying that regulators had decided that the FTC should press ahead with a probe, following talks between the commission and the Justice Department over who should take the lead.

Questions have been raised about Apple’s behaviour recently, beginning with the company’s dictat that developers use only Apple programming tools when constructing applications for the iPhone and iPad platforms, cutting out rival offerings made by the likes of Adobe.

More recently, restrictions on who can can collect user and device data to help sell and target advertising within iPhone and iPad applications have also attracted criticism. Apple’s rules specify that only independent ad networks can receive such data – excluding those, like Google’s AdMob, that are owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments.

AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui wrote in a blog post that: “The terms hurt both large and small developers by severely limiting their choice of how best to make money. And because advertising funds a huge number of free and low cost apps, these terms are bad for consumers as well.”

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