US weighs up probes for Apple ad biz checkup - report
'Bout time someone stuck up for MS and Google
US regulators are preparing to probe Apple to see whether it is unfairly restricting competition for adverts on its mobile devices, the FT reported today.
The putative investigation apparently centres on whether Apple's spawning of its own network to post flog ads on apps for the much-stroked devices is a threat to media industry
titans tiddlers rivals such as Microsoft and Google.
The paper cites not one, but two persons familiar with the situation who say the Feds are deciding whether to put the FTC or DoJ on the case.
Apple recently slapped developers with rules that restrict their ability to forward key info to ad networks punting their own their own mobile technology - such as Microsoft or Google.
Apple and Google were staring each other in the eye just yesterday. AdMob's founder and CEO Omar Hamoui said in a post on the company blog: "Let's be clear. This change is not in the best interests of users or developers."
He should know about the issue - Google's acquisition of AdMob was only cleared by regulators last month.
Separately, Apple has also raised eyebrows with its drive to keep Adobe off its mobile platforms, and with its unpredictable approval regime for app developers.
While Apple, and its rivals, are clearly conducting a vicious knife fight to control the mobile ads market, and any other market they can, whether this represents a threat to competition is another matter. The FT points out that the law is designed to protect consumers, not bickering billionaires. ®
The way I can tell, it's like ITV saying "we'll only show adverts that have been sold through our ad agency". Obviously ITV aren't the only commercial channel but that would be restrictive.
*I'm* not a billionaire
I'm a small-time developer, who might need to rely on one of these ad networks to generate income from an app I write. As such, I would personally prefer to have the widest possible pool of ad partners to choose from.
I agree that personally, I'd prefer zero ad providers too - eg the flash ads on reg hardware are really starting to get annoying especially when they cover the whole bloody background.
At the same time, advertising is a fact of life - unfortunately. - Your assertion that developers should be more happy - Why? because they have no chance of finding a provider offering a better revenue share? Because they have limited choices in how they can display the ads? because it's "Jobs' way or the highway"?
The same surely holds true elsewhere - The more browsers there are for the phone, the more developers will try to differentiate their product with innovative ideas (think Opera) - But Apple will only allow others into the field as long as they're no threat - Hence no further competition (And before you point at the Opera browser, remember what they had to go through to get on the phone?)
As to the Fanboi comment - well, If you'd given some reasoned arguments or discussed pros/cons, I wouldn't have made the comment - You didn't, you just said you were happy for developers to be put out and will accept whatever Steve thinks best - If you don't like the response you got, try forming your own opinion before posting. Until then, I'll continue to take posts like yours as Apple worship and give them little weight.
Lastly, I find it hard to take you seriously when you're posting AC. If you believe that strongly, why hide?