Apple’s Subscription Rules Raise Possible Antitrust Issues (WSJ)

Apple’s new subscription service could draw antitrust scrutiny, according to law professors. Silicon Alley Insider: Is Apple really allowed to do this? Absolutely. As both professors quoted in the Journal piece note, any antitrust claim would have to start by proving that Apple has a dominant position in the relevant market. Right now, it’s not even close. NY Post: A Time Warner spokesman said: “It seems like Apple is taking a step toward our position on subscription offerings, but the announcement also raises questions around the consumer data that we’d have to work through and come to an agreement on.” Hearst added: “We’re pleased to see subscription agreements coming to the tablet world.” It declined to comment on when its titles will be available. minOnline: The dearth of launch partners for the model suggests that many publishers either were caught unprepared by the announcement or remain ambivalent about Apple’s terms. Notable exceptions included Bonnier’s Popular Science, Hachette Filipacchi’s ELLE, and Nylon magazine. paidContent: Publishers from across Europe will convene at a hotel at London’s Heathrow Airport Thursday morning to discuss their response to Apple’s new content subscription terms. CNET: Apple was expected to roll out a subscription service, sure, but the company doesn’t appear to have sought any early feedback from some of the nation’s top media companies. TechCrunch: This latest maneuver by Apple, and several other of its recent “evil” moves, can actually be explained quite easily. Apple isn’t out to trick everyone and eventually screw them over. Instead, Apple has perfected the art of making money. TechCrunch: Simply put: This is one of the boldest bets Apple has ever made. And it could backfire. Or it could be huge beyond belief. Either way, it’s going to be very controversial. Silicon Alley Insider: Music subscription service Rhapsody says Apple’s new rules for subscriptions for iPhone and iPad apps are “economically untenable,” and it has teamed up with other music services to consider options, possibly including legal action.

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