According to a report in the Financial Times, U.S. antitrust regulators have turned their sights back to Apple following the company’s decision to bar mobile advertising rivals such as Google and Microsoft from displaying ads within applications on the iPhone, iPad and iPod.
In April, Apple introduced a proprietary mobile advertising platform dubbed iAd that will launch alongside iOS 4 and allow the Cupertino-based iPhone innovator to sell display, video and interactive advertisements. Revenue from the advertisements will be partly shared with application developers who opt to include the ads within their applications. Apple said Monday that it has already sold $60m worth of iAd advertisements that will begin their run in July.
The mobile ad space is currently largely dominated by mobile advertising company AdMob, which was acquired by search engine-giant Google in May. On Wednesday, Google said that Apple’s changes to its developer’s agreement would effectively eliminate advertising competition across Apple’s ever-expanding lineup of iOS-based mobile devices and threaten revenues.
“This change threatens to decrease, or even eliminate, revenue that helps to support tens of thousands of developers. The terms hurt both large and small developers by severely limiting their choice of how best to make money. And because advertising funds a huge number of free and low-cost apps, these terms are bad for consumers as well,” wrote Omar Hamoui, AdMob chief, on the company’s blog.