EU rules Apple’s a monopoly, Spotify and Facebook team up, ATT arrives

Week ending May 4, 2021

This week we’re looking at the launch of Apple’s ATT, the Facebook and Spotify team-up and the latest from the EU’s antitrust investigation against Apple.

Top Stories

Here Comes ATT

Apple’s public debut of App Tracking Transparency, or ATT, is the news of the week and possibly of the year. Through a small pop-up message asking users if the app can track them, Apple has disrupted a multibillion-dollar adtech industry, altered the course of tech giants like Facebook and drawn possible lawsuits and antitrust complaints, all in the name of protecting consumer privacy. Apple does believe in privacy and user control — you can tell that from the way the company has built its technology to do things like on-device processing or permissions toggles that let people decide what their apps can and cannot do.

But Apple will also benefit from this particular privacy reform, too. Its own first-party apps can collect data and share it with other first-party apps. That means what you do in apps like the App Store, Apple News, Stocks and others can be used to personalize Apple’s own ads. And the company is prepared to capitalize on this opportunity too, with the addition of a new ad slot on the App Store (in the Suggested section on the Search tab.) If it wants to roll out more ads over time to other businesses — perhaps, those podcasts it got newly interested in after Spotify did? Or in its streaming TV service or fitness solution? Perhaps the ads it sells in Apple News? — then it would have access to valuable data it could use…

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