France's competition regulator Autorite de la concurrence on Tuesday said it had issued a statement of objections over Apple and its practices for using iPhone user data for tracking and advertising purposes.
The French regulator is concerned that Apple might "abuse its dominant position by implementing discriminatory, non-objective and non-transparent conditions for the use of user data for advertising purposes," it wrote in a statement.
The complaint -- initially issued by four French advertising trade groups -- states that Apple unfairly cut off user data collection that powered the advertising industry. An official response came from the French Competition Authority and translated into English.
"Apple is accused of having abused its dominant position by implementing discriminatory, non-objective and non-transparent conditions for the use of user data for advertising purposes," the post reads. "This investigative document opens the adversarial procedure and allows the exercise of the rights of the defence. It cannot prejudge the guilt of the company having received a statement of grievances."
IAB France, MMAF, SRI, and UDECAM--the four trade associations--stated that the changes brought by Apple did not meet European Union privacy rules, citing that while an opt-in mechanism applied to third-party developers, Apple's apps did not include it.
The complaint is the first known major governmental act against Apple over its advertising rules. The Financial Times notes that Germany, Italy, and Poland have opened similar probes.
"Apple’s apps do not show an [App Tracking Transparency] prompt because they do not track, meaning they do not link user or device data with user or device data collected from other companies’ apps, websites, or offline properties for targeted advertising or advertising measurement purposes, nor do they share user or device data with data brokers," Apple told Reuters.