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Brutal War Brewing As Facebook Accuses Apple Of Anti-Competitive Behaviour

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is set to take on Apple, accusing the social media giant of anti-competitive behaviour.

The problem is that Apple wants to sell ads and generate as much revenue as they can from the Apple faithful who appear to have no problems paying a premium price for products and services that Apple deliver to market, irrelevant of whether they are cutting edge.

Now Apple plans to roll out a new privacy control in the early spring to prevent iPhone apps from delivering information to third parties such as Facebook and Google.

That puts the feature on course to come out after a more than six-month delay aimed at placating Facebook and other digital services that depend on such data surveillance to help sell ads.

Zuckerberg said that he is seriously considering filing an antitrust lawsuit against Apple for what it believes to be anti-competitive behaviour from a Company that appears to be quite happy to rip off consumers by nobbling the batteries on iPhones in an effort to sell more and then stealing patented technology from other technology Companies.

Zuckerberg claims that he expects there to be “very significant competitive overlap” with the iPhone maker on several fronts including private messaging and augmented reality glasses. He criticized Apple’s iMessage, suggesting it offered weaker privacy than Facebook’s WhatsApp, and implied iMessage’s market dominance in the U.S. was the result of unfair advantages provided by Apple.

“We increasingly see Apple as one of our biggest competitors,” Zuckerberg said. “Apple has every incentive to use their dominant platform position to interfere with how our apps and other apps work, which they regularly do to preference their own.”

Apple claim that they have been holding off to give Facebook and other app makers more time to adjust to a feature that will require iPhone users to give their explicit consent to being tracked.

Analysts expect a significant number of users to deny that permission once it requires their assent. Currently, iPhone users are frequently tracked by apps they install unless they take the extra step of going into iPhone settings to prevent it.

Facebook stepped up its attacks on Apple’s new privacy control last month in a series of full-page ads in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other national US newspapers. That campaign suggested some free digital services will be hobbled if they can’t compile personal information to customize ads. On Wednesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg questioned Apple’s motives with the changes, saying the iPhone maker “has every incentive” to use its own mobile platform to interfere with rivals to its own messaging app.

Apple now claims its new features will give users more transparency about how their data is used, in a way that still enables advertising.

Last night CEO Tim Cook defended the company’s changes to iOS in an appearance at the online Computers, Privacy & Data Protection Conference. He accused other companies of “data exploitation” and called for reform around the practices of selling user data to target ads.

“Technology does not need vast troves of personal data, stitched together across dozens of websites and apps, in order to succeed,” Cook said. “Advertising existed and thrived for decades without it. And we’re here today because the path of least resistance is rarely the path of wisdom.”

Without naming specific businesses, Cook also criticized companies’ algorithms for perpetuating the spread of disinformation and conspiracy theories for the sake of user engagement. He warned that such systems have the power to degrade the social fabric.

Zuckerberg responded claiming that Facebook and Apple are likely to become direct rivals on the “next computing platform,” referring to virtual and augmented reality headsets. Facebook already offers VR headsets from its Oculus unit, and both companies are building AR glasses. “I think we would expect to see them as more of a competitor there as well,” he added.



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