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iOS 4 and the Impact on Advertising Networks

June 14th, 2010 by Arjan Olsder Posted in Platforms: iOS | No Comments »

Apple has made a new controversial move with their iAd platform by changing the TOS to lock-out certain parties. Starring in this story are GreyStripe (just partnered with Adobe) and AdMob (acquired by Google)

The recent changes to the TOS are directly affecting Admob and possibly Greystripe as no ad networks are allowed that are owned by or affiliated with developers or distributors of mobile devices, operating systems and development environments.

Admob is violating all three elements as Google has its own branded mobile phone (Nexus One), OS (Chrome OS and Android) and development environment (Google Web Toolkit). Greystripe could be violating the rules as they recently partnered with Adobe to bring Flash based ad units to the iPhone. Adobe is specialized in development environments (Flash). As Greystripe states on its website, the company thinks it is safe because a partnership is something else than being affiliated by.

“We have received a couple of inquiries about whether Greystripe will be impacted by Apple’s new developer terms and conditions, given our recently announced collaboration with Adobe. To clarify any uncertainty, Greystripe is an independent ad network and is not “…owned or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments.” We are, and will continue to be, in regular communication with Apple to ensure that we are operating within their terms and conditions.” Said Dane Holewinski, Director of Marketing at Greystripe.

The story with Admob is getting more complicated. Following complaints by Admob and Google, it seems like the FTC is starting to investigate if the rules applied by Apple are legal and not restricting competition in the mobile ad market.

“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,” said Omar Hamoui, CEO of AdMob.

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