Apple and the press: an abuse of domining position?

30 Apr
Apple and the press: an abuse of domining position?

Apple is actually under an accusation by the French  press of abusing its dominant position. The story has gone as far as the European Commission, and is actually under its examination.

The issue begins with the launch of the Ipad in May 2010. The press, especially in France, is convinced that this will save it from its doom. All press editors therefore create an Ipad application, and the possibility for Ipad users to benefit from an online susbcription through the Apple store.

But very quickly, editors realize this situation is not the panacea they had expected. They claim Apple is using unlawful means and profiting from its dominant position to subject all French editors to an non viable situation.

Press editors hold two main griefs against Apple. The first one is the impossibility for any magazine or newspaper to sell susbscriptions or articles through another means than the Apple Store. This allows Apple to give itself a significant commission each time a paper is sold or a subscription is made, of 30% (the same for everything sold on the Apple store).

The second grief concerns the impossibility for the press to access to the information the user give Apple, when they subscribe to a newspaper. This seems also for me absolutely illegal.

The real question is, whether it seems unlawful or not, Apple may really be under the yoke of the law and subject to a restriction or fine for its actions. Si the question is, it vital for an enterprise, especially for the press, to be present on the Ipad and the Iphone, and to offer their services on such plateforms (as we have seen for Google and the links it offered)?

Ir seems that yes: as of today, the success of Apple is tremendous, for instance, more than 10 million applications have already been sold or downloaded on the Apple store. Moreover, the Ipad is today largely more successful than all the other tablets. And tablets are today seen as the future for every newspaper, and not only those who want do develop a specific platform for the web.

So it seems Apple is really abusing its domining position. The firm itself seems to understand they cannot continue to subject newspaper as they did: even before the judgment was finally given by the European Commission, Apple has agreed to let magazines and newspaper offer subscriptions on their own site from an Iphone or an Ipad.

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Posted by on April 30, 2011 in Uncategorized


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