News publishers seek better commissions terms from Apple

Apple logo
Apple logo is seen on the Apple store at The Marche Saint Germain in Paris, France.

Major news publishers are seeking more favorable terms from Apple Inc 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 New York Times Co, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and other publishers, posted the letter, addressed to Apple Chief Executive Officer 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 Inc.

In a 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 Chief Executive Officer 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.”

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 email emerged during the Committee hearing on July 29.

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.

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