Digital Content Next publishes letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook over App Store terms

A letter posted by a trade body shows, major news publishers seeking more favorable terms from Apple Inc on commissions it collects from them through its app store.

The letter, addressing Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, was posted on the website of Digital Content Next (DCN) which represents the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times Co, the Washington Post, and other publishers.

Apple typically takes a cut ranging from 15% to 30% from news publishers for first-time subscriptions made through apps on its store.

Incidentally, Amazon.com has negotiated a reduced rate for itself.

In July 2020, during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Cook had said, the reduced rate was available to any developer who met specific conditions.

“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,” suggested DCN’s Chief Executive Officer, Jason Kint, in the letter to Cook.

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, 2020.

The development comes in the wake of Apple removing “Fortnite”, a app from Epic Games’, from its app store for violating in-app payment guidelines, resulting in Epic filing federal lawsuits challenging the rule.

Neither Apple nor Amazon immediately responded to requests for comments.

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