Feeds

Apple's publishing tax provokes Poirot

Belgium sniffs antitrust trouble with subscription tax

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
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
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
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.