Feeds

Apple's publishing tax provokes Poirot

Belgium sniffs antitrust trouble with subscription tax

The Power of One Infographic

Apple's desire to capture a slice of publishers' subscription revenues has prompted concern from the authorities.

Since last year, when a reader downloads a magazine or newspaper app they can operate their own subscriptions from within the app. This makes the subscription a private transaction between publisher and reader. But because it's taking place on an iThingy, Apple wants a cut.

Apple wrote to European publishers earlier this month outlawing the private exchange. From March, said Apple, subscriptions must use Apple's own billing mechanism - with a 30 per cent tithe payable to Cupertino.

That's one of the benefits of "owning" the platform - but is it fair?

Belgium competition minister Vincent van Quickborne doesn't think so, and has launched a "rapid" competition investigation into the issue. Since Apple fails to hold a monopoly share of the digital reader market (Kindles and other e-readers are growing faster than iPhones) it might be hard to make that one stick.

But the publishers have only themselves to blame - by failing to develop a common industry "news stand" payment platform. This would have made paying for stuff much easier, and lowered transaction costs for all concerned.

And this is exactly why News Corp's Project Alesia was created - with the intention of licensing it to all comers on equitable terms. But the print industry didn't have the brains to join in. The 100-man project was dismantled last autumn.

As a result publishers now have a choice of getting reamed by Apple, reamed by Amazon or (perhaps) getting reamed by Google. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.