Regulators interested in Apple subscriptions

Martyn Williams
21 February, 2011
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U.S. regulators are looking at the conditions Apple has set for media companies that want to distribute subscription content through its iPad and other devices, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper said the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are interested in Apple’s terms and conditions, but that the interest is at a preliminary stage and might not develop any further.

Likewise, European regulators are considering whether Apple’s terms and conditions constitute a violation of anti-trust laws. A spokeswoman for the European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, told the WSJ that the commission was aware of the new subscription service and was “carefully monitoring the situation.”

Apple announced the terms and conditions for subscription sales through its App Store earlier this week. The company takes a 30 percent slice of all subscription revenue for sales generated through its online store.

Publishers have an option to sell content independent of Apple and keep the entire amount of the subscription, but in that case they are restricted from providing subscription links within their apps that link to non-Apple sites.

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