updated 11:10 am EDT, Tue May 4, 2010
Blocks on analytics earn ire of ad industry
The FTC and Department of Justice are interested in more than just tool restrictions when it comes to possible antitrust charges against Apple, says the Wall Street Journal. Again quoting "people familiar with the situation," the newspaper says that a probe could also look into iAd, Apple's new advertising network. While App Store rules forbid most iPhone apps from transmitting analytical data, valuable in targeting people for advertising, iAd may face no such limitation.
Various existing ad networks have allegedly complained to the US government, calling iAd unfair. Apple's network is also said to have come up in relation to FTC inquiries about AdMob, a mobile ad network which Google is trying to buy in a deal worth approximately $750 million. Developers contacted by the FTC about AdMob say that iAd was mentioned as well, the Journal explains.
AdMob is itself said to have been asked about iAd, which Google is using as part of its defense strategy, claiming that there is enough competition in the market. The other part is Apple's purchase of mobile ad firm Quattro Wireless, which laid the foundations for iAd. Apple could potentially avoid problems by opening up the terms of the iPhone SDK.