Regulators probe Apple subscription plan

By Reuters
Posted Feb. 18 at 10:57 a.m.

Regulators have begun an inquiry into Apple Inc.’s plans to take a cut of the revenue generated by the sale of online subscriptions through its App Store, according to a person familiar with the plans.

Some app makers are unhappy with Apple’s plans to take a 30 percent cut on all revenue from online subscriptions.

Music subscription companies like Rhapsody and Rdio have described the new Apple policy as “economically untenable” for their businesses.

Other media companies likely to be affected include newspaper and magazine publishers who have been looking forward to reinvigorating their flagging sales by offering their publications through subscriptions on tablets like the iPad.

The Department of Justice is in the early stages of an inquiry, according to the person familiar with the department’s procedures. It is in the process of contacting publishers of subscription plans and Apple.

Apple was not immediately available for comment.

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