The WSJ asks around about the new publisher requirements that Apple is enforcing on June 30th. The move will require content publishers like Netflix, Amazon, Rhapsody, Hulu and others to make content available through in-store purchases. Of course all in-app purchases are subject to pay 30% of their revenues gained through the store to Apple.
“My inclination is to be suspect” about Apple’s new service, said Shubha Ghosh, an antitrust professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Two key questions in Mr. Ghosh’s mind: Whether Apple owns enough of a dominant position in the market to keep competitors out, and whether it is exerting “anticompetitive pressures on price.”
Clearly, companies like Amazon who already have some thin margins aren’t set up to do this. In fact, Rhapsody already has a public beef on the matter.
” Millions will be spent litigating how broad the market is,” said Herbert Hovenkamp, an antitrust professor at the University of Iowa College of Law.
Mr. Hovenkamp said digital media is the most plausible market. He said he doubted that Apple, currently, has a sufficiently dominant position in that market to warrant antitrust scrutiny.
But, he said, if Apple gets to a point where it is selling 60% or more of all digital subscriptions through its App Store, “then you might move into territory where an antitrust challenge would seem feasible.”
What do you guys think? Should Apple be able to take 30% of sales made through the store?
What if it means losing Netflix, Amazon and all other booksellers?