NEWS6 May 2010

Antitrust enforcers eye changes to Apple app development rules

Legal North America

US— Apple’s changes to its iPhone developer agreement, which includes a ban on the sharing of device data with third party analytics companies, could face scrutiny from antitrust enforcers.

Reports in the New York Post and Wall Street Journal cite confidential sources as saying that discussions are under way between the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department over which agency should open a preliminary investigation into whether Apple’s actions are likely to stifle competition.

Concerns centre largely on the company’s dictat that developers use only Apple’s programming tools when constructing applications for the iPhone and iPad platforms.

However there are also fears that the restrictions placed on analytics data sharing could make it difficult for ad networks working on the platforms to effectively target and measure the success of ads within apps – thus placing them at a potential disadvantage to Apple’s own recently announced iAd network.

For more on this story see here and here.