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Online Volume 107, Issue 3

Cornell Law Review Online

Harming Competition and Consumers Under the Guise of Protecting Privacy: An Analysis of Apple’s iOS 14 Policy Updates

D. Daniel Sokol, Carolyn Craig Franklin Chair in Law and Business, USC Gould School of Law & Feng Zhu, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

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21 Jul 2022

This Essay identifies how Apple’s iOS 14 strategy serves to reinforce Apple’s dominance over the mobile ecosystem by significantly reducing—if not effectively precluding—the ability of third-party apps to create value through personalized advertising. This move to stifle competition is consistent with Apple’s established track record of engaging in conduct that protects and extends the dominance of iOS at the expense of developers, small businesses, and consumers.

This Essay explains: (i) Apple’s dominance in mobile OSs and the competitive dynamics in the industry, including the critical role that personalized advertising plays in today’s mobile app ecosystem; (ii) how Apple’s iOS 14 updates dramatically alter today’s mobile OS ecosystem, wrongfully preference Apple’s own products and services, and help Apple protect and augment its dominance over iOS and more broadly over mobile OSs; and (iii) why such actions harm competition, and by extension, iOS users and consumers more broadly.

To read this Essay, please click here: Harming Competition and Consumers Under the Guise of Protecting Privacy: An Analysis of Apple’s iOS 14 Policy Updates.

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