News publishers join the App Store fight against Apple, complaining about the 30% rule

news publishers letter to tim cook rect

The Wall Street Journal reports that major publishers including The New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal themselves have sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook raising concerns over its publication deal for Apple News, the service, per the report:

In a letter to Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook on Thursday, a trade body representing the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and other publishers said the outlets are looking to qualify for improved deal terms to keep more money from digital subscriptions sold through Apple’s app store.

The letter says that Apple’s App Store policy, including its policy of taking 30% commission from in-app purchases for the first year of the subscription, after which it goes down to 15%. The letter in specific asks Apple to cut the commission to 15% even before the first year.

News publishers currently pay Apple 30% of the revenue from first-time subscriptions made through iOS apps; that commission is reduced to 15% after the subscriber’s first year.

“The terms of Apple’s unique marketplace greatly impact the ability to continue to invest in high-quality, trusted news and entertainment particularly in competition with other larger firms,” said the letter, which is signed by Jason Kint, chief executive of the trade body, Digital Content Next.


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Sami started falling in love with Apple in 2010 with the iPhone 4S. As a registered developer, he deeply admires the world of Apple. Sami is an aspiring journalist, writer, and actor. He also has devoted his life to sharing his passion and knowledge with others around the world.