Belgium is work whether or not Apple’s recent changes to its subscription policies for newspaper apps ar associate abuse of its dominant market position. Apple now not permits newspapers to produce free digital versions to their print subscribers. this might probably cause a brand new antimonopoly affair.
This story looks to play solely in Kingdom of Belgium and also the Kingdom of The Netherlands for now; readers from different countries might not understand it. That’s why I wrote this special report.
Both articles I joined to ar concerning Kingdom of Belgium, however I largely browse the Dutch newspapers’ wailing and gnashing of teeth, particularly in my very own newspaper, Nuclear Regulatory Commission Handelsblad. As way as I will tell the story is as follows:
In recent months almost about all major newspapers up here created associate iPad app that allowed their subscribers to transfer their daily newspaper without charge — outside the app store. Non-subscribers had to travel through the app store and pay a modest quantity (€0.79 within the case of NRC) of that Apple took its customary half-hour. This was hailed because the salvation of newspapers. Right.
(The clearest rationalization of however the system truly works comes from Belgian newspaper Diamond State Tijd; troubled. Most different newspapers and blogs ar terribly upset concerning completely everything however don’t tell you what’s truly occurring.)
But between the time I browse the article and also the time I checked the link Diamond State Tijd has gone to paywall subscription. Go figure.)
Last week some Apple set that from first of Apr on can|this may|this can} not be allowed: all downloads will need to bear the app store and free downloads are going to be verboten. so subscribers to the dead-tree edition can need to pay once more for the digital one.
Predictably there was associate outcry. there have been some strong-worded articles in Nuclear Regulatory Commission concerning the affair (that’s wherever I picked it up myself), and eventually the Belgian government started its enquiry. probably the Dutch government can be part of. Newspapers still have political clout; actually enough to launch some variety of official response.
A probable next step would be increase to European level, wherever the case would land with the department of Competition. It’s a pity that the redoutable Neelie Kroes, WHO penalised Microsoft like others eat eggs for breakfast, doesn’t rule there from now on, however perhaps her successor can do one thing. And hey, she’s Commissioner for the Digital Agenda today, and looks to possess a broad read of the digital agenda. And she’s a Dutch politician, thus her friends within the newspapers may already be speech her.
I have little or no sympathy for either party within the conflict. The newspapers ran lemming-like to yet one more voice communication, whereas Apple showed it is aware of specifically the way to milk its new distribution monopoly for all it’s value — and the way to fuck with the previous distributors.
The newspapers didn’t analyse the app promotional material correctly: the app economy trends towards an internet economy, and this type of theme isn’t progressing to work. Besides, they may have created an honest mobile web site, which might would like a login/password failwhale so as to create cash, however a minimum of would are platform-neutral and would have allowed them to retain a minimum of a shred of their former distribution empire. But no, they went for whistles and bells and succumbed to Apple’s lure.
Apple another time shows itself associate untrusworthy business partner which will modification any rule at a whim. Besides, this is often a narrow-minded money-grabbing move, or concern of losing management. In either case it’s not pretty.
And Google? It’s reportedly functioning on a digital stand, and may “undercut” Apple’s half-hour. Not a word concerning free editions for paper subscribers, though. all of your content ar belong to America. The newspapers’ road to salvation doesn’t run through the app stores. Despite all its issues, the online offers the higher likelihood.
What’s next? I don’t understand. the complete packaging may dwindle away to zilch in an exceedingly few days. Or a brand new antimonopoly affair may surface. We’ll see.