back to article 'Monstrous' Apple kicked us off iAd, claimed we are its RIVAL – Brit music upstart

Apple has been accused of hobbling an up-and-coming British firm by booting it off the iAd advertising platform. Bloom FM, a Spotify-style music streaming service, claimed Apple issued the iAd ban because it now regards the London-based company as a rival. The Register understands that Apple wrote to Bloom today and claimed …

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Anonymous Coward

How many?

How many advertising platforms in the Apple ecosystem?

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Re: How many?

As many as you like. I can tell you that our app used to include Flurry and MoPub with a wide range of adaptors but nowadays we mostly just use MoPub with the Google AdMob and Apple iAd adaptors. Anything we sell ourselves is trafficked on MoPub directly and if we've trafficked nothing specifically then it falls back on whichever of AdMob or iAd is offering the better rate at that moment.

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If you are no longer giving Apple any money, I don't see a problem.

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Well I guess they just handed them better advertising than they could afford otherwise!

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Facepalm

Advertising

This is worthy of a Barbra Streisand Award.

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Bloom.fm?

Never heard of them... I might download the app and give it a try.

Good job Apple!

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I guess it depends on your outlook. If you're a strong partisan then either you're now going to download the app on your Android or completely ignore it on your Apple. If you're a pragmatist you're going to ignore the app because of the self-serving attempt at controversy and the many much more popular options available. If you're outside the blog bubble you're not going to hear about this at all.

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Just installed the Android version even though I don't usually use the phone to listen to music! I like supporting the underdog, especially against misuse of power like this.

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@Intractable Potsherd

Isn't that a bit like installing Firefox on Windows in order to stick it to Safari? Buying the Android — the default mainstream choice — is the thing that will actually have had affected Apple; then ignoring Apple's blessed (/strong-armed) choice for an app specific to its OS feels like tilting at windmills.

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>>>>The Register understands that Apple wrote to Bloom today and claimed it was a direct competitor to iRadio, which is surprising because this Apple-operated service does not yet exist in the UK.

Dont see how its "Suprising", its not as if Apple cant be expected to ever move into the UK radio streaming market.

Alternative headline: Macy's in "refuse to promote Gimbels'" shocker

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Anonymous Coward

A bit like UK TV

I'll never understand why ITV carries adverts for Sky.

It's like Ford selling cars with "Sponsored by Vauxhall" written down the side.

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Wrong.

Sorry Chad, you've got the wrong end of the stick - we are talking about separate Apple products which Apple is using in a non-competitive fashion.

First product, iAds, allows people to place advertising via Apple.

Second product, iTunes (Radio in this case), allows people to access radio-like music streaming.

Apple is telling people they can't use one of their product (iAds) because it thinks they are competing with it on another product (iTunes). And that's potentially illegal, same as when Microsoft and AT&T were dragged to courts for abusing their monopoly in one aspect of their business to achieve sales in another aspect.

So using your own analogy, if Macy rented promotional placing in their store (iAds) they would not be allowed to forbid Gimbels from renting the space simply because it was a competing store (iTunes).

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Re: Wrong. @Neoc

It's nothing like illegal.

Apple doesn't have a monopoly in banner adverts — not across the industry as a whole and not even if you restrict yourself to iOS specifically. The vast majority of apps use something other than iAds. Free, open source iOS SDKs are available from Google, MoPub, Grey Stripe, Flurry and many others.

Since it doesn't have a monopoly, Apple cannot abuse that monopoly.

Competition law protects the marketplace from actual damage. It isn't a sort of corporate equivalent of criminal law.

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Angel

"Apple cant be expected to ever move into the UK radio streaming market."

And they would obviously want to hobble the competition first.

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Re: Wrong. @ThomH

Note I said "potentially illegal". I do not know enough about the American legal system to make a judgement on whether Apple is allowed to restrict access to iAds because the other product is competing with iTunes. That's why Lawyers charge large amounts of money. For all I know, it's perfectly legal and above board for Apple to have stuck that clause non-competition in the iAds T&Cs.

Then again, it wouldn't be the first time a company has placed ridiculous and non-enforceable clauses in their T&Cs hoping nobody would call them up on it.

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Re: A bit like UK TV

Sky have recently been running an ITV channel promo too so its not one sided. Sounds to me like Apple need a regulatory slap for this, and I speak from an open platform houshold where our phones are 'droids and the computing hardware is a mix of imac/macbook pro and linux/wondow dual boots - so theres no fanboi-ism here, we just buy what works for us.

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Re: Wrong. @ThomH

We are however talking about a problem in the UK affecting business done in the UK and as such US law is probably irrelevant - a fact which may shock some across the pond.

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Re: Wrong.

>>>Sorry Chad, you've got the wrong end of the stick - we are talking about separate Apple products which Apple is using in a non-competitive fashion.

It doesnt matter that tehy are seperate products.

>>>Apple is telling people they can't use one of their product (iAds) because it thinks they are competing with it on another product (iTunes). And that's potentially illegal, same as when Microsoft and AT&T were dragged to courts for abusing their monopoly in one aspect of their business to achieve sales in another aspect.

It is not illegal to active anticompetitively. It is illegal to abuse a "Market dominant position". Apple have a market dominant position in neither online radio nor online advertisement.

>>>>So using your own analogy, if Macy rented promotional placing in their store (iAds) they would not be allowed to forbid Gimbels from renting the space simply because it was a competing store (iTunes).

Except they can.

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Re: Wrong. @ThomH @Da Weezil

Then it's probably a good thing I was talking about EU competition law, isn't it?

It's been a decade since I went to law school and I don't practise so I'm probably the definition of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing but the school I attended was definitely inside the UK.

Since there's nothing whatsoever to suggest I was talking about US law, and in any case the EU law is based on the US law, I'm unclear what your point was meant to be.

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Re: Wrong. @ThomH @Neoc

As noted, it's EU law, not US, but I'd argue that what Apple has done is "potentially illegal" in the same sense that your post is "potentially written in Portuguese".

Although law in the US and UK is often known for being obtuse, that's often because the statutes were written hundreds of years ago so the words have either a historic meaning or have has their original meaning slowly winnowed by years of case law (see e.g.: malice aforethought in Lord Coke's definition of murder, which essentially means "intention, at the time"; spontaneous mercy killings are murders).

EU law doesn't use the precedential system (i.e. case law doesn't affect what the law subsequently is, it merely directs you as to how it has previously been interpreted — the latest judges may agree or disagree) and is always read in terms of the wrong that was intended to be addressed rather than exactly the words on the page (because it's translated into so many languages and because that's how most of the European national legal systems operate anyway).

The attempted precise technical language still tends to put people off, and there are other barriers like the way the articles all get renumbered when a new treaty requires it, but the net effect is that EU law is probably the easiest to read a little of.

It's Articles 101–106 for competition law. If you're curious then check them out.

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Re: Wrong. @ThomH @Da Weezil

This passage from the post I was replying to is fairly clear I think

"Note I said "potentially illegal". I do not know enough about the American legal system to make a judgement on whether Apple is allowed to restrict access to iAds because the other product is competing with iTunes"

It has naff all to do with the American legal system, AFAIK the article referred to a UK based complaint which I assume means that its business they sought to place through whichever office Apple uses for UK leads. (while avoiding as much tax as possible natch)

My point stands, if it is an issue with an order placed with an EU office US law has diddly squat to do with it.

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Re: Wrong. @Neoc

I have no idea whether other advertising services run on iOS, but I'm not going to assume that you are saying correctly that they do, because, of course, such services would be in competition with Apple's own.

The last that I heard, even designing a better keyboard program isn't allowed, except perhaps to type text into the clipboard, to paste into another application. Or else not even that.

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Surprised

Apple hasn't sued them for stealing/copying a part of their business model.

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Anonymous Coward

The reasons

to NOT use crApple just keep on coming...

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Ever-expanding

What concerns me is that, sooner or later, everything ends up competing with Apple because Apple keeps expanding into new markets.

Does anyone even remember when all they did was make computers?

From the beginning the Ts&Cs of using the iTunes AppStore was that you were not allowed to sell a product that duplicated any functionality that the iPhone already had. I don't know if this is retroactive - If Apple adds a new feature, do they pull any existing products that have provided that feature for ages? The whole Crap Map App Flap suggests that they do.

If they keep this sort of thing up, they'll soon own the entire ecosystem, and every penny you earn providing services or software for Apple platforms will depend entirely on the largesse of Apple.

Which it mostly already does, I guess.

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<<-- Cynic

Step 1: Create streaming music service just like all the others

Step 2: Keep putting ads on iAd that Apple might dislike

Step 3: Get banned from iAd

Step 4: Call all the world's press

You'll notice that their app is not banned, just their advertising. Perhaps they discovered a way to increase their advertising penetration whilst decreasing their spend....

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Re: <<-- Cynic

I guess Google should be allowed to demote Apple results then as some of their products are rivals?

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