The FTC is reportedly considering an inquiry into Apple's upcoming iAds. Apple will become the only major player not to share its analytics data, which some critics say is an anticompetitive tactic.  (Source: How Stuff Works)

Slides of Apple's upcoming iAd ViP program for developers recently leaked.  (Source: TechCrunch)
Apple may be in more antitrust trouble over iAds

According to a Reuters report, a source close to the Federal Trade Commission says the U.S. regulatory agency is concerned with Apple's plan to deploy "iAds" to the iPhone alongside the launch of the fourth generation iPhone hardware and operating system.  

According to the report, the FTC isn't worried about the iAds themselves, but rather the fact that Apple is refusing to share its analytic information with Google and Microsoft.  States a developer, "[The FTC] asked about the sharing of information with third parties."  

Traditionally advertisers on personal computers have shared this data with each other, as it helps them all get a better understanding of how well their targeting strategy is working.  Not sharing this data may help Apple in some ways, and hurt it in others.

The FTC, which is already involved in an upcoming inquiry over Apple's Flash rejection, declined comment.

Under its new contract, app makers can put ads in their games as an alternative source of revenue to direct purchases.  App makers earn a 60 percent share of ad revenue, while Apple pockets the rests.  iAds will be sold and managed directly by Apple's recent acquisition Quattro Wireless.  

The iAd business is expect to bring in some big money for Apple.  Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall believes that the iAds could rake in $2B USD in annual revenue for Apple.  Many, in particular, are looking forward to advertising on the iPad, thanks to its large screen real estate.  Apple has sold over 1 million iPads thus far, so that market is already sizable.

Apple is reportedly also pushing a program called "ViP", that targets app developers looking to buy ads.  Many app developers have purchased ads to help promote their applications.  Apple looks to give its own iAds the inside track in this arena, according to leaked slides, by directly tracking the number of app purchases that arrived via ad-clicks.  This could be a game changer as it will allow developers to determine exactly how many extra sales their ads are generating and whether they are worthwhile.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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