Four French online ad lobbies file antitrust complaint against Apple

Four French online advertising lobbies have filed an antitrust complaint against Apple over changes the iPhone maker will make to privacy features within the company’s iOS mobile operating system.

French FriesUnder the Apple’s iOS 14 operating system, users will be asked whether they’ll allow installed mobile apps to gather a key identifier used to define campaign ads and send ads that are targeted to them.

Mathieu Rosemain for Reuters:

The four associations – IAB France, MMAF, SRI and UDECAM – said the changes brought by Apple did not meet European Union privacy rules. They added Apple failed to hold itself to the same standards, as it would still be able to send targeted ads to iOS users without asking them for prior consent.

“This case is not about privacy; it is about Apple abusing its market power to distort competition,” the four associations said in a joint statement.

The new iOS 14 privacy features could lead to severe revenue decline for publishers and drive many ad tech vendors out of business, the four associations said.

The joint complaint was filed with France’s antitrust competition authority.

MacDailyNews Take: Aww, French online advertisers are worried that they won’t be able to target iPhone users who don’t want to be tagged and tracked like animals. Isn’t that just too bad?

Apple said in a statement to Reuters, “With iOS 14, we’re giving users the choice whether or not they want to allow apps to track them by linking their information with data from third parties for the purpose of advertising, or sharing their information with data brokers.”


  1. They say, “Apple can still send users targeted ads and they can’t.” I’ve been an iPhone user since day one. I don’t recall Apple sending me targeted ads? Anyone get targeted ads from Apple?

    And Apple is just giving people choice. Are they worried that no one in their right mind would want to be tracked for advertising purposes?

    1. “They added Apple failed to hold itself to the same standards, as it would still be able to send targeted ads to iOS users without asking them for prior consent.”

      Here it’s as much a matter of “could” as it is “does”.

      Apple should just put into 14.2 the same notification for itself as it does for other apps. If they did this whole thing would go away. Those ad companies could whine themselves into oblivion.

      I understand the premise that Apple does not do targeted advertisin so why give that notification in the first placeg. I do get advertisement emails from Apple for new hardware and new software, but few consider that “targeted advertising”. But why is Apple dealing with non Apple apps differently than its own apps? Apple should just level the playing field and move on.

      1. Apple could do a pop up, “Apple does not track users. If you want us to track you, click here.” This would also solve the perceived unjustness of the justified double standard.

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