France to reportedly open antitrust probe into Apple following similar German ruling

Source: Sputniknews 12.4.2023

 

Apple’s decision to let iPhone users opt out of efforts to track their online activity has sparked anger among advertisers and competing tech firms alike.

 

France’s Competition Authority is poised to open an antitrust investigation into Apple following complaints filed by four major French advertising trade groups over changes the technology company made to its app tracking policies in 2021, according to a US-based news outlet.

 

As one Apple-centered news outlet explained, the company’s introduction of "App Tracking Transparency" meant that "app developers must ask you if you want to allow advertisers to track your online activity."

 

"If you say no (as most people do)," the site noted, "then the apps are not allowed to use that system."

 

Apple’s rivals have complained bitterly over what they insist are billions in lost advertising revenue since the iPhone maker made it easier for users to decline to be tracked across other apps.

 

A "Statement of Objections" is reportedly expected from French regulators in the weeks to come. At the time of the changes in question, the Competition Authority said the massive tech company’s changes did "not appear to reflect an abuse of a dominant position on the part of Apple."

 

The move comes less than a week after Germany’s antitrust regulator, the Bundeskartellamt, declared that the Cupertino-based multinational is an "undertaking of paramount significance for competition across markets" and is "thus subject to extended abuse control" under the German Competition Act.

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