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World | Dec 16, 2020

STANDOFF? Facebook accuses Apple of anti-competitive behaviour over iOS14 privacy changes

/ Our Today

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The Facebook logo displayed on a smartphone. (Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic illustration)

(Reuters)

Facebook has accused major tech rival Apple of engaging in anti-competitive practises on Wednesday (December 16), 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 criticising 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 personalised 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.

The Apple Inc. logo is seen hanging at the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York. (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar)

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.

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

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