Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Apple rears the ugly monopoly head: no more google ads on the iphone and ipad?


Google Inc. protested Apple Inc.'s new rules for iPhone and iPad programmers, saying the changes would prohibit application developers from using Google's advertising technology on the devices.

Apple's new terms, released Monday, target companies with competitive mobile technologies, such as Google, as well as any company whose primary business is not serving mobile ads, said Omar Hamoui, founder of Google's recently acquired AdMob mobile-advertising unit.

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"Artificial barriers to competition hurt users and developers and, in the long run, stall technological progress,'' Mr. Hamoui wrote in a blog post.

Apple's terms hurt large and small developers by limiting their choice of how best to make money, Mr. Hamoui said. And because advertising funds many free and low-cost apps, these terms hurt consumers as well, he said.

Apple wasn't available for comment. Earlier this year, Apple unveiled an upgrade to the iPhone operating system that included its new advertising network, dubbed iAd, which is set to launch July 1.

Billed as an alternative to current options, Apple said developers would benefit from the choice. U.S. regulators agreed, clearing Google to buy mobile-advertising firm AdMob in May and noting that Apple's entry into the market would provide sufficient competition.

However, Apple's new terms appear to exclude competing networks such as AdMob from collecting critical information about the devices to which their ads are served.

Apple has said it wasn't interested in banning rivals from its platform but rather simply wanted to prevent abuse.

At issue is a clause in Apple's new terms that states developers may not use third-party analytics software in their apps to collect and send device data to a third party for aggregation, processing or analysis.

The new agreement also says developers must request Apple's permission to collect specific types of information about their users and may only disclose user data to independent advertising-service providers whose primary business is serving mobile ads.

That would exclude advertising-service providers owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple. People familiar with the situation said Apple's terms of service could affect Microsoft Corp., AOL Inc. and Yahoo Inc. as well as Google.

The changes don't appear to affect smaller competitors such as Jumptap Inc., Greystripe Inc. and Millennial Media Inc., although they could make such companies less attractive to prospective acquirers.

Mr. Hamoui said in his post that he will tell Apple his concerns about the company's new terms.

Write to Scott Morrison at

This smells like the mobile space - Apple is blocking Google from serving ads into iphone apps going forward. This might be a dangerous path with regulators - not the smartest way to go IMHO.

Posted via web from digbits's posterous


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