Skip to main content

This story is brought to you by The Daily Upside. For more crisp and insightful content, you can sign up for the free Daily Upside newsletter here.

European Union regulators and Silicon Valley’s major tech firms don’t always see eye to eye. But when it comes to privacy, Apple just made a French connection.

On Wednesday, France’s competition regulator tossed out a request made by advertisers and publishers to block Apple's plan to restrict tracking of individual's mobile app usage.

Not Out of Les Bois Yet
A quick background — last year Apple said it would begin to require apps on its smartphones and tablets to get permission before collecting someone’s so-called "advertising identifiers."

That announcement drew ire from both small developers and Facebook (which took out full-page attack ads in major papers). The anti-Apple coalition said the move would make it harder to make money from personalized ads, hurting retailers in the process:

Yesterday, France’s regulator rejected their plea outright:

  • “We can’t intervene just because there might be a negative impact for companies in the ecosystem,” said Isabelle de Silva, who heads the Autorité de la Concurrence.
  • “At this stage, we haven’t found flagrant examples of discrimination,” she added.

But Apple isn’t off the hook entirely. France said it will investigate whether Apple’s switch could be considered “self-preferencing” by imposing stricter rules on third-party apps than it does on itself.

What have you done for me lately? Apple has taken other steps so as not to appear the big meanie: Last year it gave a break to smaller developers, reducing the App Store cut it takes from developers with less than $1 million in revenue to 15% from 30%. That pushed Google to follow suit this week, when it made the same change to its Android Play Store.

The Takeaway: Expect more jockeying to come in the arena of big tech.



The Rich Are Doing Just Fine

Three millennials have serious wallet-share.


Christian Louboutin Finds His Price

And an Italian dynasty heads to France.