The group of French publications are said to have joined together and begun negotiating with Apple as a collective, according to Reuters. The participating parties include newspaper Le Figaro, sports daily L'Equipe, business daily Les Echos and news weekly le Nouvel Observateur.
The participating parties reportedly plan to keep their publications from Apple's Newsstand application, which will be a part of the forthcoming iOS 5 software update. Newsstand will sell newspapers and magazines much like Apple sells e-books through its iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone.
Though the French publications are usually "fierce competitors," they have put aside their differences and come together to take on Apple, a company that the head of new media of Le Figaro said is "infinitely powerful."
Disputes between Apple and publishers over content on the iPad have persisted since the touchscreen tablet first went on sale in 2010. Most significantly, a subscription disagreement led international business paper the Financial Times to pull its application from the iPhone and iPad App Store.
Rather than comply with Apple's rules for the App Store, the Financial Times opted to create an HTML5-optimized version of its website. That allows readers to continue to view the publication in the iPad's Safari Web browser without the need for a native application.
Apple oversees all content that is available for download on the App Store, and also takes a 30 percent cut of all transactions that take place. That policy applies to paid applications, as well as in-app purchases and recurring subscriptions.