Apple Subscription Service May Lead To Antitrust Investigation [REPORT]

Posted Feb 16, 2011

According to a law professor, Apple’s digital subscription model could lead to an antitrust investigation. Apple will be allowing publishers, magazine companies, newspaper companies, etc. to sell subscriptions to digital content at various lengths on the iOS operating system. The catch is that the subscriptions must be sold through the Apple App Store so that Apple can take a 30% cut. Google is offering the same service called One Pass but they are offering 90% to publishers.

Another catch is that if the publisher decides to sell digital subscriptions outside of the Apple ecosystem, they must allow Apple to offer the same price or less. University of Wisconsin Law School professor Shubha Ghosh is questioning whether these are “anticompetitive pressures on price.”

To find out whether Apple’s digital subscriptions are putting pressures on price, antitrust regulators will have to determine whether Apple is a dominant player in the market.