April 26, 2021 at 05:44PM

Media, technology and advertising associations in Germany have initiated an antitrust complaint against Apple regarding the iPhone maker’s latest operating system, iOS 14.5, the Financial Times (FT) reported.

ZAW, the German Advertising Federation, launched the complaint to Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s competition regulator. The antitrust beef was initiated by ZAW on behalf of its nine industry associations, which include members such as Facebook and media giant Axel Springer, owner of Insider and Bild, according to FT.

Anticipated to roll out on Monday (April 26), Apple’s most recent update to its smartphone operating system will give app users the ability to decline advertising tracking. Germany’s nine industry associations launching the complaint via ZAW have expressed fears that Apple’s new iPhone operating system will devastate the mobile advertising industry. 

The complaint indicates that mobile app developers could lose some 60 percent in revenue, the news outlet reported, because the new changes make it more difficult for third parties to gather the data for advertising placement.

The law firm Hausfeld is handling the complaint on behalf of the advertising federation and representative Thomas Hoppner the change could cause developers to change tactics to charging app consumers for use instead of relying on the advertising-supported model. 

“Consumers will be harmed by higher transaction costs. If the relevance of ads decreases, consumers will have to spend more time searching to find offerings that are relevant to them,” Hoppner said, per FT.

Big Tech has been under fire in the U.K., Australia and Germany for antitrust violations regarding mergers and acquisitions. Antitrust regulators have said the pandemic is not enough of a reason to stifle competition by buying up rivals.

Apple is facing antitrust backlash in the European Union over music streaming. Spotify claimed in March that Apple has unfairly promoted its own music streaming service over rivals on its operating system

The Competition and Markets Authority last month launched an investigation into the Apple App Store over allegations it stifled competition law via its terms and conditions. The App Store is the only way for developers to distribute third-party apps on Apple devices.

Apple iOS Privacy Changes Prompt Complaint By German Business Groups …

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