Feeds

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

Who wants to load the torpedoes?

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.