Dev Agreement Shackles Google

By Reuters  |  Print this article Print

Apple's new developers agreement prohibits third-party ad agencies from collecting usage data from iPhone applications, something that Google says will hamper rival ad agencies' ability to target their ads and compete with Apple's own ad network.

The initial language of Apple's new iPhone developers agreement, which emerged in April, prohibited data about app usage to be transmitted to any outside analytics companies, which help agencies target their ads.

Those rules rankled some app developers and generated questions from the Federal Trade Commission, one developer said.

The updated language -- which was first noted by the MediaMemo blog -- appeared to put in place significant new restrictions, particularly when it comes to Google.

It allows user data to be transmitted only to "an independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads," one that is not affiliated with "a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems."

This would effectively bar Google, which designed the Android mobile operating system and makes the Nexus One smartphone.

Google paid $750 million for AdMob. After holding the deal up for six months, the FTC approved it last month, saying Apple's entry into the mobile ad market would increase competition.

Apple purchased mobile ad company Quattro Wireless in January, after being outbid by Google for AdMob.

In April, Apple unveiled iAd, its own advertising network, which will sell and host ads on the iPhone platform. Apple said Monday it has already reeled in $60 million worth of commitments for mobile ads.
(Reporting by Gabriel Madway, editing by Maureen Bavdek)