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Newspapers slam BBC iPhone app plans

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Newspaper publishers are calling on the BBC Trust to rein in the broadcaster's plans to start making applications for smartphones.

The BBC said it will release a news iPhone app in April, and the move has not been sent to the BBC Trust for approval.

David Newell, boss of the Newspaper Publishers Association, said the BBC entry would distort the nascent market for apps. He said the move would: "trample over the aspirations of commercial news providers.".

Newell said: “At a time when the BBC is facing unprecedented levels of criticism over its expansion, and when the wider industry is investing in new models, it is extremely disappointing that the corporation plans to launch services that would throw into serious doubt the commercial sector’s ability to make a return on its investment, and therefore its ability to support quality journalism,” according to the Press Gazette.

Publishers also intend to complain to MPs via the Media Affairs Select Committee.

The Beeb is promising sports and other applications will follow the news app. It will start with iPhone applications before offering apps for other platforms. ®

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