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April 10, 2021

Facebook accuses Apple of anticompetitive behavior over privacy changes

PALO ALTO, Calif. (Reuters) — Facebook accused rival Apple 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 anti-competitively by using its 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.

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.

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

© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020


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