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Facebook Accuses Apple of Anticompetitive Business Practices in Ongoing Standoff

It's another shot in the monthslong standoff between the two tech giants over Apple's planned privacy changes for iOS14.

Image source: Apple

By Katie Paul, Sheila Dang

PALO ALTO/NEW YORK (Reuters) -Facebook Inc accused rival Apple Inc of engaging in anticompetitive practices on Wednesday, firing another shot in a monthslong standoff between the two tech giants over Apple’s planned privacy changes for iOS14.

“Apple is behaving anticompetitively by using their control of the App Store to benefit their bottom line at the expense of creators and small businesses. Full stop,” Facebook Vice President for Ads and Business Products Dan Levy told reporters.

The world’s biggest social media company ran full-page ads in major newspapers criticizing Apple’s plans, which will limit apps’ ability to gather data from people’s phones that can be used for targeted advertising.

It said in a blog post that Apple's own personalized ad platform would be exempt from the new prompt requirement the iPhone maker is planning to impose on other companies.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple said in June that such activity will require a pop-up notification asking iOS users for “permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies,” which digital advertising firms expect most will decline.

Levy said that although Facebook disagreed with Apple’s approach, it would comply with the new rules and display a prompt. “We don’t have a choice if we want our app to be available in the App Store,” he said.

He declined to say whether Facebook would take any action to push back against the policy.

Facebook and Apple have also tangled over commission fees the iPhone maker charges apps listed on iOS devices, with Facebook again aligning itself with small developers most affected by the policy.

Opposition against Apple continued to grow on Wednesday as Digital Content Next, a digital media trade association representing members such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, said it has joined the Coalition for App Fairness.

The nonprofit, which includes members like Epic Games and Spotify, is calling on regulators around the world to fight “anticompetitive” app store practices such as Apple’s 30% revenue cut on purchases made within apps.

Facebook previously tried to push a notification to its users about Apple’s fees but said Apple rejected its “transparency notice.”

Facebook said in a blog post that it was “committed to providing relevant information” in a federal antitrust lawsuit filed by Epic Games challenging the commission fee rules but declined to specify how it would participate in the litigation.

Reporting by Katie Paul and Sheila Dang; Additional reporting by Stephen Nellis; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Lisa Shumaker


Source: Reuters

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