Feeds

FTC and DoJ toss-up on Apple subs plan 'probe'

Who wants to load the torpedoes?

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Apple's take-it-or-leave-it subscription platform for content producers and publishers has attracted the attention of regulators in the US and Europe, according to reports.

Cupertino launched the fair and balanced plan this week, giving producers of magazines, video, etc, the ability to sell subscriptions through Apple's App store in return for a 30 per cent rake-off. While producers may sell subscriptions via other channels, they are banned from offering better deals to customers using these. This arguably leaves other channels, including publisher's own sales operations, somewhat hamstrung.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Federal Trade Commission are also pondering just how much of a bind this is on publishers, quoting those mysterious people familiar with the matter.

Their counterparts in Europe are also "carefully monitoring the situation", according to an EU spokesperson quoted by the paper.

The US authorities are apparently determining which of them should take the lead in sniffing at Apple's subs scheme. The DoJ has apparently already examined Apple's music business, while the FTC has perused the App store, inspiring some changes in the T&Cs for both.

This perhaps suggests a more realistic approach on Apple's part. Microsoft's absolute opposition to government probing of its business practices left its staff and processes hobbled by red tape, and apparently made the company a much less interesting place to work.

Once the authorities do decide who should take the lead, they will then have to decide exactly what, if anything, Apple is doing that is anti-competitive. Some might argue 30 per cent figure is a perfectly reasonable take, and it may be a question of examining whether Apple is abusing its position in the market.

Certainly Rhapsody argues that 30 per cent leaves little if any room for it to make money, once it has paid off music labels and publishers. Oh, and those other people buried in the process – the artists. ®

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
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.