REPORT: Facebook Building Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple

Left: Mark Zuckerberg (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Right: Tim Cook (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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Facebook is reportedly building an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, two sources familiar with the situation told The Information.

The two companies have recently been battling about a recent change Apple made to its iPhone software, which made it harder for Facebook to track users’ information across apps, The Information reported Thursday. The change also impacted advertisers, who rely on information collected on individuals for targeted advertising. (RELATED: DOJ Sues Facebook, Alleges Company Discriminated Against US Workers)

Facebook reportedly plans to make a broad argument in the lawsuit that Apple’s rules for app developers put competitors at a disadvantage. The rules, like making app developers use Apple’s in-app payment service, violate antitrust laws by making it harder for competitors to compete in areas like gaming, shopping, and messaging, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to argue, according to the report.

The lawsuit is the latest development in the longstanding feud between Apple and Facebook. In December, Facebook took out multiple full-page advertisements in several newspapers, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, criticizing Apple’s software change. Facebook claimed in the advertisements that the change would make it harder for businesses to reach consumers, and would be “devastating to small businesses.” (RELATED: Facebook Is Giving $1,000 To Content Moderators Who Said Online Trolls Turned Them Into Conspiracy Theorists)

In 2018, Zuckerberg reportedly ordered Facebook company executives to use only Android phones after Apple CEO Tim Cook made comments criticizing Facebook over its advertising-centered profit model and privacy concerns. Facebook claimed that the story, which was reported by The New York Times, was inaccurate because Facebook employees had “long encouraged” employees to use Android.

“Tim Cook has consistently criticized our business model and Mark has been equally clear he disagrees,” the company said in a blog post.