Major news organizations join fight against Apple over App Store terms

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Mainstream news organizations are pushing for more prosperous terms regarding Apple’s App Store, calling for reduced commissions for the company now worth $2 trillion.

A trade body representing the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and other publications drafted a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook inquiring how to get better deal terms that would allot those publications more revenue from digital subscriptions.

App developers and news publishers pay Apple 30 percent of the revenue for first-time subscriptions placed via iOS apps, reducing the commission to 15 percent after a subscriber’s first year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“The terms of Apple’s unique marketplace greatly impact the ability to continue to invest in high-quality, trusted news and entertainment particularly in competition with other larger firms,” said the letter, which is signed by Jason Kint, chief executive of the trade body, Digital Content Next.

The Hill reached out to Apple for comment regarding the letter but did not immediately receive a response.

The letter serves as one of several moves larger corporations are making against Apple’s terms.

Last week, video game company Epic Games, known for the popular title “Fortnite” filed a lawsuit against Apple and Alphabet’s Google after the game was removed from both company’s respective digital marketplaces.

At the time, Apple issued a statement saying Epic was pushing for a “special arrangement” on the marketplace, citing the game company’s decision to allow users to make in-app purchases directly to Epic, which would bypass Apple’s commissions and save the company 20 percent.

Apple’s policy has also agitated some European antitrust regulators and Congress members who have cited issues and concerns about the company’s monopoly power.

In late July, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) pressed Cook on whether Apple was engaging in profiteering as many companies have been forced to switch to digital models during pandemic times.

“We would never do that,” said Cook, denying the charges.

Tags App Store Apple Apple News Criticism of Apple Inc. Epic Games Epic Games IOS Jerry Nadler The New York Times The Washington Post Tim Cook Wall Street Journal
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