ANTITRUST

Facebook's Zuckerberg: Apple's 'Control' Of App Store Should Be Examined

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, speaking with “Axios on HBO,” said he believes Apple's App Store "deserves scrutiny."

"I think it's probably about 50 percent of Americans who have smart phones, and a lot more people around the world,” Zuckerberg said in an interview, according to Axios. “I think there are more than a billion Apple devices. So, I do think that there are questions that people should be looking into about that control of the App Store and whether that is enabling as robust of a competitive dynamic."

Zuckerberg didn't say what he thought should be done about this, never specifying that he wanted the government to intervene. But he said some of the company's monopolistic behavior "certainly raises questions," according to Axios.

Apple has been involved in a myriad of controversies as of late, with Facebook having also called out the company for demanding it remove a message informing customers of Apple's 30 percent cut of any online sales. Facebook's message said that "now more than ever" it is important for users to understand where their money is going.

Apple said it prohibited developers from revealing "irrelevant" information.

The squabble between the two companies came because Facebook was preparing to roll out a tool to let businesses present paid online events to help accommodate the loss of funds from the pandemic.

The companies also squared off over planned changes to iOS 14, PYMNTS reported, which would entail letting users opt out of apps tracking them on other websites. Facebook, which depends on that for its ad revenue, was not happy, and said the change could cause the company to lose around 50 percent of its revenue from Apple devices.

For example, if a user posts on Facebook about plans for a vacation, the identifier for advertisers (IDFA) will have just enough anonymous information to serve up relevant ads from whatever destinations might be specified. If users can opt out, Facebook's position is that it will be at a disadvantage in the ad market.

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