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Earlier this week, we noted that some observers were expressing concern over potential antitrust issues related to Apple's new App Store subscription program that forces content providers to at least offer users the option of subscribing through Apple's in-app subscriptions, which sees the company taking a 30% cut of revenue. The program also comes with restrictions preventing developers from including links to external subscription signup options within their apps and offering lower prices outside of their apps.

Any antitrust issues are likely to hinge on how the market addressed by in-app subscriptions is defined, and thus whether Apple is considered to hold a sufficiently dominant position in it that regulators might be interested in stepping in. According to The Wall Street Journal, several regulatory agencies in the United States and Europe have begun "looking at" Apple's subscription program, although the inquiries are still in an early stage that may not proceed to a formal investigation.
U.S. antitrust enforcers have begun looking at the terms Apple Inc. set this week for media companies who want to sell their content on its popular iPad and other devices, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission's interest in Apple's new subscription service is at a preliminary stage, and might not develop into either a formal investigation or any action against the company. But it comes as Apple has attracted growing antitrust scrutiny in the U.S. and Europe.

A spokeswoman for the European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, said Thursday that the commission was aware of the new subscription service and was "carefully monitoring the situation."
While a number of content providers have expressed concern over the new policies, subscription music services appear to be the most vocal opponents at this point, arguing that their slim profit margins simply won't allow them to give Apple a 30% cut of their revenue. But regulatory experts note that government officials may be unable to tag Apple's commission rates as anticompetitive given a lack of benchmark standards in the market and an unwillingness to interfere in complex pricing decisions.

Article Link: U.S. and European Regulators 'Looking At' Apple's App Store Subscriptions Program
 

deadkennedy

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2010
320
0
My next one is Android, they've done it this time. No Spotify, Rhapsody and other low margin subscription services? Give me a break....
 
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bnerd

macrumors regular
May 21, 2009
127
0
The company (Fortune 500 company) I work for had to scrap the app we were bringing to the App store because of the terms. We have now moved on to Android.
 
Comment

Kenrik

macrumors 6502
Dec 21, 2004
332
49
It's funny.. Apple kicked open the door to the phone companies with the iPhone.
If you remember, before the iPhone the phone companies would charge for even the most basic features on the phone "GPS for $10.00 per month" Once phones could download apps without the phone companies approval all of those services became free.

iPhone Apps were a trojan horse for the phone companies.

Now Apple is getting it's door kicked in by Apps that offer services that compete with Apple at a lower price.

iPhone Apps are a trojan horse for Apple.

Question is... ? why don't they go after Sony for the PS3 or Microsoft for the Xbox not allowing ANY SERVICE/APP/FEATURE. Will Sony Allow iTunes on the PS3?? Nope. It would hurt their PSstore.

I don't think they can pick and choose who they go after.
 
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Popeye206

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
3,148
836
NE PA USA
Seems simple... all Apple has to do is drop the requirement that it "has to be at the same price or lower" part. This way, companies with thin margins just raise the price on iTunes to cover the margin.

From there, it's up to the end user to choose where they purchase. No harm, no foul.
 
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thetexan

macrumors 6502a
May 11, 2009
720
0
The company (Fortune 500 company) I work for had to scrap the app we were bringing to the App store because of the terms. We have now moved on to Android.

That's the problem here, in the end the consumer will lose. Big applications like Pandora will cease to exist on iOS, and Apple will lose market share.
 
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alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,688
170
It's funny.. Apple kicked open the door to the phone companies with the iPhone.
If you remember, before the iPhone the phone companies would charge for even the most basic features on the phone "GPS for $10.00 per month"

iPhone Apps were a trojan horse for the phone companies.

Now Apple is getting it's door kicked in by Apps that offer services that compete with Apple at a lower price.

iPhone Apps are a trojan horse for Apple.

steve jobs did the same thing with the Mac back in the day. he got too greedy back then as well and all the developers went to windows
 
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Nicky G

macrumors 6502a
Mar 24, 2002
940
844
Baltimore
Good

I hope the investigation is a real one. I love most of what Apple does, some of what they do drives me nuts -- but this move I absolutely DESPISE. It is totally anti-consumer, and I will explain why:

• One course of action is that many apps. will simply disappear -- Kindle and other eBook readers, magazines that don't want to use this system, even Hulu Plus, Netflix, Crunchyroll -- the list goes on and on. ANY app. developer who allows users to "log in" to their app. to get premium content that the user has paid for outside the app. is potentially subject to this policy. Many of them will simply leave the platform, because they can not give Apple ALL of their profit, or MORE than their profit. This is bad for users of iOS -- the reason we love the platform is due to these types of apps, for a large part!

• The other option is that these types of providers will raise their prices ACROSS THE BOARD, in-app. and outside of the apps. (as Apple requires the same pricing levels across the board), so whether or not you are even a user of iOS, you will end up paying more for your Kindle eBooks, your Netflix subscription, etc. HORRIBLE.

This was one of the most bone-headed things I've ever seen Apple do, especially as it disrespects their users, and developers. They are getting cocky, and this is what led to many years of the Mac platform dwindling, allowing Windows to utterly take over. These are very new types of platforms, and there's still plenty of time for Apple to lose their position.

I for one know that I will NOT be buying iOS apps. that might fall into this category, until this situation is rectified.
 
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Oletros

macrumors 603
Jul 27, 2009
6,002
60
Premià de Mar
If you remember, before the iPhone the phone companies would charge for even the most basic features on the phone "GPS for $10.00 per month" Once phones could download apps without the phone companies approval all of those services became free.

In USA, at least here in Spain phone companies didn't have those restrictions
 
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Popeye206

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
3,148
836
NE PA USA
The company (Fortune 500 company) I work for had to scrap the app we were bringing to the App store because of the terms. We have now moved on to Android.

For some reason I have trouble believing this. Most of Apple's rules or terms are there for all good reasons - security, consistency, etc... So unless you were looking to do something that changed core function, or by-pass security, it would have to be something on the selling terms which seem like just some creative sales and marketing could work out.
 
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*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
steve jobs did the same thing with the Mac back in the day. he got too greedy back then as well and all the developers went to windows

And now Mac is the Premium computer platform offering the best User Experience, which nets Apple the lion's share of the industry's profits. Apple was selling more of these in a recession than ever. Steve made the right decision. It's simply a matter of sticking to vision and getting the execution right thereafter.

A closed, controlled vertical model done right will always be superior to open licensing.
 
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mrpither

macrumors regular
Aug 21, 2007
102
5
well this is what I see having to do now:

no pre-order for the next iPhone to upgrade my 3GS until I see how this affects the app landscape when it take affect about the time I would be doing this pre-order. And now I have to start paying actual attention to the news on android phones / win7 phones to be ready to switch if the worst that is being forecast now happens. so disappointing... Apple wasn't making enough money the way things are now?? barely scraping by with all those extra billions?? this sounds so disappointing. the 1984 commercial is now flipping on Apple.
 
Comment

Fubar1977

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2010
863
14
North Yorkshire, UK
Apples getting greedy.
They seem to have forgotten where they were 10 years ago and if they aren`t very careful they`ll end up back there.
The trouble with basing your business on the general public is that, unlike the enterprise sector, they are very fickle and will drop you in a heartbeat if something better comes along.
This just makes me glad I went with Android.
Can see a jailbreak coming up for my iPad too.
 
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faith4more

macrumors regular
Apr 15, 2010
100
0
Same for me I no longer trust Apple. Their business model conflicts with consumer choice. I want to consume content without them meddling.

My next one is Android, they've done it this time. No Spotify, Rhapsody and other low margin subscription services? Give me a break....
 
Comment

RalfTheDog

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2010
1,526
339
Lagrange Point
I would be surprised if Apple did not back down on this. I don't think they want to face the restrictions and government attention that comes with having a monopoly label. I do not think subscription income would be enough to justify the risk.

The other option would be to buy the supreme court.
 
Comment

Popeye206

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
3,148
836
NE PA USA
Exactly. 30% Commission on digital subscription? Anyone who believe this would be good for consumers ought to have their brains examined.

As a consumer... you do realize that many people in distribution get their "share" in the sale of a product or even in subscriptions. Like Publishers Clearing House does when they sell a subscription for X Magazine. Just because this one is being talked about or exposed now it's outlandish. Silly.
 
Comment

rwilliams

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2009
3,647
735
Raleigh, NC
I doubt Apple will back off of this new policy, but hopefully, they'll drop their cut to 10% or so. I think that would be very reasonable. With the increasing number of Android devices being sold, developers would be crazy to give Google 10% and also give Apple 30%. 30% is just too much.
 
Comment

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,591
5,531
Canada
The regulators are doing Apple a favour.. publishers will eventually get fed up on just move on to other platforms, while ignoring iOS...

Apple have already been forced to back down on its policies regarding iTunes and appStore due to the threat of investigation.

-----

It's funny.. Apple kicked open the door to the phone companies with the iPhone.
If you remember, before the iPhone the phone companies would charge for even the most basic features on the phone "GPS for $10.00 per month" Once phones could download apps without the phone companies approval all of those services became free.

iPhone Apps were a trojan horse for the phone companies.

Now Apple is getting it's door kicked in by Apps that offer services that compete with Apple at a lower price.

iPhone Apps are a trojan horse for Apple.

Question is... ? why don't they go after Sony for the PS3 or Microsoft for the Xbox not allowing ANY SERVICE/APP/FEATURE. Will Sony Allow iTunes on the PS3?? Nope. It would hurt their PSstore.

I don't think they can pick and choose who they go after.

Don' t confuse carrier locked phones vs manufacturer unlocked phones.

You could always download applications for free for mobile phones.. not all carriers disabled bluetooth GPS etc etc ( basically, crippling the phone ).

I remember downloading Symbian applications back in 2004.. I'm sure the same was true for windows mobile, and blackberry. My cell phone carrier couldn't give a hoot - nor prevent me from doing so even if they did!

I could also use GPS for free on my phone first that had GPS... before the iPhone saw the light of day.

You claim is obviously true for some carriers but not all.


As a consumer... you do realize that many people in distribution get their "share" in the sale of a product or even in subscriptions. Like Publishers Clearing House does when they sell a subscription for X Magazine. Just because this one is being talked about or exposed now it's outlandish. Silly.

Are you referring to the the physical distribution? Digital and physical distribution of content isn't the same and cannot compare.

Subscription Content via iOS applications never touch Apple servers - so Apple are basically getting the 30% for free. All Apple do is host the application on the AppStore - and the owner of that App has paid Apple already via the $99 yearly subscription.
 
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mrpither

macrumors regular
Aug 21, 2007
102
5
Apple has been forced to debunk the so-called "Apple Tax" in the past.

so what do they do now? Create an actual "Apple Tax" for iOS. :mad:
 
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HiVolt

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2008
851
3,192
Toronto, Canada
Exactly. 30% Commission on digital subscription? Anyone who believe this would be good for consumers ought to have their brains examined.

Worse yet, it's 30% for content that Apple does not host, produce or own.

So essentially money for nothing.
 
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franswa za

macrumors 6502a
Mar 24, 2010
582
26
south africa
aapl wanting 30% revenue and complaining about forking out 35% foreign taxes, non break, or did Obama pardon you?

come on apple lower your greed, live and let live......... or be androided, totally!

:rolleyes:
 
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BenRoethig

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2002
2,729
0
Dubuque, Iowa
steve jobs did the same thing with the Mac back in the day. he got too greedy back then as well and all the developers went to windows

Unfortunately that's been Steve's motus operandi. He has great success, the head gets too big and starts making questionable moves. He builds Apple and the Mac up, starts biting off more than he can chew, gets gets kicked out of the country. Comes back, brings in new blood, starts overreaching with products like the Cube and overhyping the PowerPC, gives most of that surge back. He's been able to succeed because as of the last five or so years, he's started to listen, Apple would be nothing if we hadn't moved to intel or the iPhone would have remained the 4-function device that Apple launched. If he's returning to the old ways it can't be great for the consumers or shareholders.
 
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