Apple’s app subs terms subject to anti-trust scrutiny

Apple’s latest terms and conditions on app subscriptions look set to be the subject of anti-trust scrutiny.

US Department of Justice regulators have begun an inquiry into Apple’s change of policy, while the European Commission is monitoring market developments, according to reports.

Apple now lets publishers set the price and length of a subscription, while users can choose how frequently they’re charged and for how long they commit to a subscription.

While publishers can now sell app subscriptions through their own websites, bypassing Apple’s 30% stake, there’s a caveat that any offers outside the app must be matched inside the app.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement last week: “When the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, they keep 100% and Apple earns nothing. All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one click right in the app.”

The first step in any anti-trust analysis will be to determine whether Apple is a dominant player in the market, experts have said.

Read this feature on magazine publishers and mobile devices

This story first appeared on

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here