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Media Companies Criticize Apple’s App Store Policies

A Letter to Tim Cook

Media companies are joining a growing number of businesses criticizing Apple (AAPL) for its App Store rules. Apple takes a 30% cut of revenue from first-time subscriptions made through iOS apps. After the subscriber has the app for a year, Apple’s commission drops to 15%. The App Store is the only way for iPhone users to download apps.

Digital Content Next, a trade body representing The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and other publishers, wrote a letter to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook last week, asking to negotiate about App Store policies.

Fortnite, Facebook, and Others Raise Concerns

These media companies are not the first to call out Apple’s App Store policies. A battle between Apple and Epic Games, which owns the popular video game Fortnite, came to a head recently when Apple removed the game from its store. Other companies, including Facebook (FB), have also had conflict with Apple over App Store rules.

In response to pushback about its App Store charges, Apple said that the 30% fee allows it to protect data privacy and cover other operating expenses related to the App Store.

Governments Weigh In

In addition to private companies scrutinizing Apple’s policies, governments around the world are also taking a look at the way the company charges for its app store services. At the congressional hearing with Tim Cook and other tech CEOs last month, the House Antitrust Subcommittee asked questions about the App Store, particularly about Amazon’s (AMZN) special treatment on the platform. Overseas, the EU recently opened two antitrust probes into Apple, one centered around the App store.

In a world where everything from dating to grocery shopping can be done through apps, Apple’s App store has immense power. Apple recently became the first company in the US to be worth $2 trillion. Investors will be carefully watching to see how discussions surrounding the App Store unfold.

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