Reports indicate that a company Facebook is preparing for an antitrust lawsuit against a company Apple regarding the App Store policies and the upcoming iOS 14 privacy feature, although plans to lift it are not final, according to To report New from The Information.
The social media giant is working with an outside legal advisor on the complaint, which would allege that Apple misused its power in the smartphone market by forcing app developers to abide by App Store rules that Apple apps are not required to follow.
Although the lawsuit may constitute a major escalation of the deteriorating relationship between Facebook and Apple, people familiar with the matter said that Facebook may ultimately decide not to file it.
The sources explain that Facebook faces internal resistance from employees over the high-profile battle with the tech giant that makes iPhone phones.
The antitrust lawsuit focuses on the upcoming change that would make certain types of user tracking tags unsubscribe.
And in 2020, Facebook launched a campaign against the privacy feature, claiming it could reduce ad revenue and harm small businesses.
The social media giant may seek financial compensation in an antitrust lawsuit, but the most important goal of the complaint is to change the App Store and developer guidelines.
And Facebook has considered joining other companies in the lawsuit as well, and this is not the first time that Facebook has shown a willingness to confront Apple in court.
The social media company said in December that it intended to provide internal documents to assist Epic Games in its own legal battle with Apple.
Facebook and Apple have been far from each other for years, but tensions over each company’s handling of user data and privacy have erupted in the past.
Tim Cook criticized Facebook for mismanaging consumer data, while Facebook targeted Apple’s supposedly high prices.
These tensions have escalated with the planned change to IDFA, which Apple announced in 2020 but delayed it until 2021 in order to give developers more time to prepare.
Facebook stepped up its opposition to this feature in late 2020, posting full-page press ads with in-app claims explaining to businesses that revenue might be harmed.
While Facebook and other ad-supported organizations have expressed concerns about the feature, Apple’s digital rights and privacy groups praise it.
Despite the criticism, Apple says: It is committed to the privacy feature, and announced that the anti-tracking feature is supposed to arrive in the next beta version of iOS before its launch in the spring.