Feeds

Apple's publishing tax provokes Poirot

Belgium sniffs antitrust trouble with subscription tax

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
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.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.