Tim Cook, Masayoshi Son and Brian Chesky. Photos: Bloomberg
The Briefing
Venture Capital Facebook Apple

Facebook’s Apple Problem, SoftBank’s TikTok Interest, Airbnb’s Price Tag

Photo: Tim Cook, Masayoshi Son and Brian Chesky. Photos: Bloomberg

Late summer seems to ring in a fight between Apple and Facebook ahead of the iPhone maker’s fall update to its mobile operating system. Driving both to the mat this time: a change in iOS 14 that will ask users if they want their information shared with other apps for advertising purposes. Analysts expect most consumers to say no. The result, says Facebook, will severely cripple a part of its business that places ads in non-Facebook apps.

Discontent about the upcoming update has simmered for weeks, as Tom and Alex noted earlier this month. On Wednesday, Facebook took the fight to the next level, publishing a blog post that warned it could stop its ad service for other apps, called Audience Network, altogether on iOS 14. 

If Facebook makes good on this threat, such an outcome could be more disruptive to other companies that rely on Facebook ads—gaming companies and media publishers, for instance—than to Facebook itself. The business generates only about $3 billion a year for Facebook, a sliver of the $70 billion Facebook makes from advertising in its own apps. 

The fight over iOS updates echoes last year’s scrap, when we reported Apple’s iOS 13 would restrict a feature used by Facebook Messenger, part of a broader iOS change that included pop-up alerts about the data used by apps running in the background on iPhones. Facebook seemed worried enough to publish a blog post explaining what it does with location data. 

That clash blew over, but there’s a chance things play out differently this time. Apple says the iOS 14 change is intended to give people more control over the information they share with advertisers. Companies like Facebook see it as something else: an attack on their business model.– Laura Mandaro 

Onto the news...

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Briefing
Trump Puts TikTok Deal in Doubt: The Information’s Tech Briefing

It’s rare to see M&A end up in complete confusion, as the TikTok deal now seems to be, but then again, it’s rare for M&A to be driven by President Trump. His comments to Fox News Monday morning that TikTok would be “totally controlled by Oracle...and if we find that they don’t have total control then we’re not going to approve the deal” suggests that ...

Latest Briefs
 
DOJ Could Bring Antitrust Case Against Google Next Week, Report Says
Tim Cook Hopes Apple Can ‘Unpeel’ From Antitrust Investigations
Palantir’s Filings Cast Spotlight on Unusual Supervoting Stock
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Startups Microsoft
Tech Execs Are Obsessing Over Note-Taking Apps. We Tested Them Out
Investors are newly enamored of note-taking apps, financing startups like Notion Labs, Coda and Roam Research at high valuations.
Exclusive Enterprise COVID-19
Zoom Invests in Big Messaging Upgrade in Challenge to Slack
Zoom Video Communications became a household name with a video conferencing service that has become a ubiquitous tool for businesses and students during the pandemic.
True Value Startups Markets
Five New Software Stocks: Why Investors Love Some and Hate Others
Five enterprise software companies are going public this month, cashing in on the sector’s enormous popularity with investors.
Venture Capital Asia
TikTok Valued at Around $60 Billion, As Deal Structure Emerges
Walmart and Oracle are valuing the soon-to-be formed TikTok Global at between $50 billion and $60 billion, according to two people familiar with the deal, as key aspects of one of the most convoluted global tech deals in history take shape.
Exclusive Policy Google
In Ironic Twist, Google’s Pro-Privacy Move Boosted U.S. Antitrust Probe
Google has taken a lot of heat for violating people’s privacy. Now it could get in trouble for trying to protect it.
The Takeaway Media/Telecom Google
Accepting Kickbacks, Publishers Are Playing Into Tech Companies’ Hands
For years, news publishers have been clamoring for Facebook, Google and Apple to pay for the news content that gets distributed through their services.