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Major U.S. Publishers Join Coalition for App Fairness

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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A group of major U.S. news publishers have joined the Coalition for App Fairness, a collaborative organization set up to highlight issues with Apple, mainly from developers (via TechCrunch).



Digital Content Next, which represents the AP, The New York Times, NPR, ESPN, Vox, The Washington Post, Meredith, Bloomberg, NBCU, The Financial Times, and more, has become the 50th member to join the Coalition for App Fairness.

A number of other European media organizations have already joined the Coalition for App Fairness, including the European Publishers Council, News Media Europe, GESTE, and Schibsted. Digital Content Next is the first to represent the news and media industry in the United States, and accumulatively reaches an audience of over 233 million unique visitors and 100 percent of the U.S. online population.

The publishers believe that Apple "severely impacts" their subscription-based models by serving as an intermediary. In short, the argument postulates that Apple is wrong to force publishers to use in-app payments for subscription services, which, in turn, means that prices have to rise to account for Apple's commission.

"DCN is pleased to join the Coalition for App Fairness working to establish a fair and competitive digital landscape," Digital Content Next CEO Jason Kint said in a statement. "The premium publisher members of DCN enjoy trusted, direct relationships with consumers, who don't expect intermediaries to impose arbitrary fees and rules which limit their ability to consume the news and entertainment they love."

Earlier this year, Digital Content Next criticized Apple's business practices when it halved its commission from 30 percent to 15 percent for video subscription apps. The organization alleges that Apple amended its App Store rules for Amazon specifically, in order to get Amazon's Prime Video app on iOS and tvOS. Publishers essentially wanted the same discounted fee for themselves but were unable to do so, despite the fact that Apple says its App Store rules are applied evenly.

Furthermore, Digital Content Next argues that Apple's fees and Safari's blocking of third-party cookies and tracking workarounds have pushed publishers away from direct audience revenue, such as subscriptions and events. It claims that Apple has instead pushed them toward digital ads where they had to pay a 30 percent commission on earnings.

Publishers have also expressed concerns about Apple News+ limiting revenue, affording "little in the way of direct relationships with readers," and giving "little control over the business," with some publications such as The New York Times, which is part of Digital Context Next, withdrawing from the service entirely.

"Having DCN join the Coalition for App Fairness is a landmark moment for our campaign, and their insight into core issues with the App Store that top outlets face will only make our voice stronger," said Sarah Maxwell, spokesperson for the Coalition for App Fairness, in a statement. "We're excited to work with them to advocate for App Store policies that are fair, hold Apple accountable, and give consumers freedom of choice."

The Coalition for App Fairness was founded by a large group of companies, such as Epic Games, Spotify, Tile, Basecamp, Blix, Blockchain, Deezer, Match, Prepear, ProtonMail, and SkyDemon, many of whom have had major disagreements with Apple over various issues.

The organization describes itself as "an independent nonprofit organization founded by industry-leading companies to advocate for freedom of choice and fair competition across the app ecosystem." The coalition is based in Washington D.C. and Brussels, and aims to lead legal and regulatory changes with regards to what it says are three key issues; "anti-competitive policies," "30 percent app tax," and "no consumer freedom."

Article Link: Major U.S. Publishers Join Coalition for App Fairness
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,902
4,444
Is it just me ? I honestly don't see the need for any app to read news.

Is there something wrong with their website ? What can their app do that a website cannot ?

You just hit the nail on the head. They want to be able to use the App Store and have apps for free. As the above mentioned, create your own ecosystem then. It blows my mind they want intermediary for free.
 
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Appleman3546

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2019
288
537
Too bad Apple didn't meet them half way with a finely carved alternative for apps, because now the EU will come in and hack up everything with the Digital Markets Act. It was always a losing position when the iPhone could not download apps via a browser, but Macs could download apps via the browser ...
 
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SkyRom

macrumors member
Dec 17, 2018
83
300
I don't normally like to side with Apple in these disputes, but I'm 100% on their side in this. You can download any free browser you want and access *all* of the sites, newspapers and broadcast networks on this list through their webpages and pay them by: calling them or setting up an account through said websites. This is a cash grab wanting the convenience and reach of the App Store without giving the platform its due. Personally I don't use any of them, as I don't need anymore corporations "curating" my news.
 
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Darth.Titan

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2007
2,781
494
Austin, TX
Now watch how the regulators put the squeeze on Apple and Apple starts whining in turn. The customers will win though.
You're under the impression that the government is acting in the interest of the customer? That's cute. The government (Regardless of which country) only intercedes when there's something in it for them. They love to levy fines and accept money "to protect the customer."

Apple is unfortunately making too much money right now to be ignored. They've painted a big red target on their backs and every government in the world is doing everything they can to squeeze them for whatever they can.
 
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deevey

macrumors 6502a
Dec 4, 2004
501
464
I'm pretty happy with Apple News it offers news from a wide variety of sources that I would otherwise forget to check.
But couldn't Apple news also just be served from a website as opposed to an app ?

I'm all for apps, but it bugs me when a well designed mobile (or full featured) site can do exactly the same thing and possibly better without taking up valuable space on my device.

A shopping site I use for example INSISTS on using a badly designed app which does not rotate ... major PITA seeing as my iPad is docked with a keyboard in a not-so-easy-to-remove case. Absolutely everything is available on the website except customer support and certain cash in payment options.
 
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CaTOAGU

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2008
727
789
Manchester, UK
"members of DCN enjoy trusted, direct relationships with consumers, who don't expect intermediaries to impose arbitrary fees and rules which limit their ability to consume the news and entertainment they love."

Hold on! First of all it's not a trusted relationship in the positive sense they're desperately trying to make it out to be. People don't want to give Epic, or any other publisher their contact details, usually they only do so because they're compelled to do so. These are the same people who historically have sold those user details to others. What they'd like to really get back to is the days of, "book of the month", where they sent you a book and it was on you to send it back if you didn't want to pay for it.

So yes, their relationship might have been direct but there's no way in hell it was ever trusted.

Whatever the outcome of this, no one should be under any illusion that this bunch have your best interests at heart. Because one things for sure, they'll pay lip service to competition but if any of them, could corner the market and get rid of their competitors, they'd do it in a heartbeat.
 
Comment

JM

macrumors 68000
Nov 23, 2014
1,623
2,137
this is the only line that raises a fair question: why did Amazon get a %15 discount?

other than that, go build your own successful hardware and software platform and get it into millions of people's hands YOURSELF! You whiny babies.

"The organization alleges that Apple amended its App Store rules for Amazon specifically, in order to get Amazon's Prime Video app on iOS and tvOS. Publishers essentially wanted the same discounted fee for themselves but were unable to do so, despite the fact that Apple says its App Store rules are applied evenly."
 
Comment

reyesmac

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2002
467
126
Central Texas
Exhibit A: An android device. Look at the crapware on it. Look how much privacy you need to give up to use them. Apple has a ton of useless apps on iOS, but on android the crap rises to the top. If Apple does not control the ecosystem of app development things get bad, real bad. I have no further questions. Case closed.
 
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falainber

macrumors 68020
Mar 16, 2016
2,408
2,875
Wild West
Super simple answer here don’t do business with Apple. But remember if you don’t I will step in to fill your vacancy. Also Apple is the only platform I trust and as a consumer STOP interfering with the quality of the products I choose to use!
You are going to replace BBC, NPR etc.? Ambitious! Also, I am afraid if all app publishers (Facebook, Instagram, game developers etc.) leave iOS you might remain the only iOS customer.
 
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falainber

macrumors 68020
Mar 16, 2016
2,408
2,875
Wild West
You're under the impression that the government is acting in the interest of the customer? That's cute. The government (Regardless of which country) only intercedes when there's something in it for them. They love to levy fines and accept money "to protect the customer."

Apple is unfortunately making too much money right now to be ignored. They've painted a big red target on their backs and every government in the world is doing everything they can to squeeze them for whatever they can.
No, I do not share this cynical view of the government. Why? Just compare situation in your country with the one in the countries without effective government (Libya, Somali etc.). So, I think my impression is way more accurate than yours.
 
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Cosmosent

macrumors 68000
Apr 20, 2016
1,685
1,814
La Jolla, CA
Thanks for the Head's Up, completely forgot about this !

I've got a Dispute going on right now with Apple ... after 258 App Approval for one app, they're now trying to Move the Goal Line !
 
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