Regulator to probe Apple developer agreement

US regulator the Federal Trade Commission will investigate Apple’s revised developer agreement terms, which limit the amount of data shared with third-party ad networks and effectively bars Google-owned AdMob from all Apple products, according to reports.


The FTC will examine whether the terms unfairly exclude mobile app developers from using third-party ad networks that rival Apple’s own iAd network.

Neither Apple nor the FTC have officially commented on the matter but media reports citing sources close to proceedings claims the move is imminent.

Last week Apple changed its developer agreement to limit the amount of information app developers can share with ad networks, such as a person’s location to provide more relevant advertising.

Under the revised Apple terms and conditions, other “independent” ad networks can serve ads within Apple apps, but it prohibits those networks affiliated to companies distributing handset operating systems other than its own. Because AdMob is now owned by Google, it falls foul of Apple’s terms.

The move prompted AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui to say the revisions aren’t in the interests of app developers and noted the agreement is potentially uncompetitive.

“In the history of technology and innovation, it’s clear that competition delivers the best outcome. Artificial barriers to competition hurt users and developers and, in the long run, stall technological progress,” he said.

This story first appeared on

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