German media and advertising companies filed a complaint with the country’s competition regulator, accusing Apple of abusing its monopoly position in App Tracking Transparency. The update of app tracking transparency in iOS 14.5 forces apps to require users to allow their online activities to be tracked in order to provide personalized advertisements.
Although this privacy initiative is generally regarded as a positive initiative, German companies have already taken action to try to prevent the loss of advertising revenue. According to the Financial Times, nine industry associations filed complaints on Monday, representing various technology giants and online publishers, including Facebook and major publisher Axel Springer. The complaint insists that these changes will have a negative impact on the mobile advertising industry.
According to Facebook’s previous statement, once the ATT is implemented, application developers’ advertising revenue may drop by 60%, making it more difficult for marketers to collect the data needed for more profitable targeted advertising. Thomas Hoppner of the law firm Hausfeld, which represents the group, said that more apps will have to change their business models and charge consumers instead of relying on advertising.
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“Consumers will be harmed by higher transaction costs,” Hopner said. “If the relevance of advertising decreases, consumers will have to spend more time looking for products that are relevant to them.”
The complaint reflects a similar strategy attempted by the lobby group France Digitale, which filed a complaint with the French National Commission for Informatics and Freedom (CNIL) in October and March. The organization disagrees with the impact of ATT itself and also disagrees that Apple does not seem to have to comply with the same system for its own applications and services.
Although the complaint triggered CNIL’s investigation into the matter, it rejected the request to force Apple to suspend the implementation of ATT itself because the regulator could not find an error in Apple’s approach. “The head of the French competition authority Isabelle de Silva said at the time: “We cannot intervene just because it may have a negative impact on the companies in the ecosystem. ”
Apple is continuing to introduce ATT. Starting April 26, all applications submitted to the App Store must enable ATT. Apps that try to circumvent ATT will be deleted from the App Store.
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