News publishers push back against Apple over app store terms - TechCentral

News publishers push back against Apple over app store terms

Major news publishers are seeking more favourable terms from Apple on commissions the iPhone maker collects from them on payments made through its app store, according to a letter posted by a trade body on Thursday.

Digital Content Next (DCN), which represents the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and other publishers, posted the letter, addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, on its website.

Apple, which usually takes a cut that ranges between 15% and  30% from news publishers for first-time subscriptions made through apps on the store, has a reduced rate for Amazon.com.

In a US house judiciary committee hearing last month, Cook said the reduced rate was available to any developer who met certain conditions.

News publishers should qualify for the same terms offered to Amazon for its Prime Video app on Apple’s app store, DCN CEO Jason Kint suggested in Thursday’s letter to Cook.

“I ask that you clearly define the conditions that Amazon satisfied for its arrangement so that DCN’s member companies meeting those conditions can be offered the same agreement.”

Amazon deal

The letter cited communication between Apple veteran Eddy Cue and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos where the two companies agreed on a 15% revenue-sharing deal for new customer sign-ups for Prime Video through app store. The e-mail emerged during the committee hearing on 29 July.

The latest missive comes days after Apple removed Epic Games’ Fortnite from its app store for violating in-app payment guidelines, prompting Epic to file federal lawsuits challenging the rule.

Apple and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.  — Reported by Neha Malara and Paresh Dave, (c) 2020 Reuters

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