Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Apple’s privacy rules targeted by German competition watchdog

Germany’s competition watchdog has launched a fresh probe into Apple’s privacy rules, fearing that the company’s move to clamp down on user-tracking could have anti-competitive effects.

Bundeskartellamt chief Andreas Mundt said Tuesday that Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework, which was introduced in April 2021 and establishes preconditions for user-tracking by third-party apps, could be abused to give a leg up to Apple’s own services.

At the heart of the matter are concerns that the U.S. tech giant’s rules obstruct third-party apps from accessing data used for targeted advertising, while not limiting Apple’s ability to obtain that same data.

“A corporation like Apple which is in a position to unilaterally set rules for its ecosystem, in particular for its app store, should make pro-competitive rules,” Mundt said. “We have reason to doubt that this is the case when we see that Apple’s rules apply to third parties, but not to Apple itself.

“This would allow Apple to preference its own offers or impede other companies.”

Apple refuted the cartel office’s claims Tuesday and touted the benefits of its privacy-preserving approach.

“ATT does not prevent companies from advertising or restrict their use of the first-party data they obtain from users with their consent,” an Apple spokesperson said. “These rules apply equally to all developers — including Apple — and we have received strong support from regulators and privacy advocates for this feature.”

Germany’s efforts follow scrutiny of Apple’s ATT framework by both the French and Polish competition authorities and are based on new competencies that the Bonn-based regular was given as part of last year’s competition reform for digital markets. An investigation was launched in June last year to determine Apple’s significance for competition across markets as part of the new rules.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like


Alexander Fanta is a Brussels-based journalist who covers EU digital policy for In the spring of 2021, European Commission President Ursula von der...


Alessio Satta is the coordinator of the coalition MedWet, the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative.  Today, the Mediterranean Basin is a climate change hotspot.  The region...


FRANKFURT – German inflation eased to 8.2 percent in June from 8.7 percent in May, data released by the German statistics office showed Wednesday. Analysts...

Foreign Policy

MADRID — Italy “will be supplying” Ukraine with heavy weapons “similar” to the howitzers that Germany and the Netherlands are sending to the country,...


Nearly half of Northern Ireland voters trust the European Union to represent their post-Brexit interests — and almost none of them trusts the British...


MADRID — NATO leaders meeting in Madrid adopted a new strategic blueprint on Wednesday bluntly branding Russia as “the most significant and direct threat to...


MADRID — Russia’s reaction so far has been “rather mild” to Sweden getting the green light to join NATO, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said...


The European Commission said Wednesday it wants to prohibit the sale of all flavored heated tobacco products as part of its goal to cut...