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French newspapers team up for leverage in negotiations with Apple

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Eight of France's most powerful newspapers and magazines have teamed up in hopes of gaining leverage in negotiations with Apple over the iPad maker's 30 percent cut of App Store sales.

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.
post #2 of 24
So, eight French newspapers think they're going to accomplish in negotiations with Apple what the entire magazine publishing industry has already failed to do? Ooooookaaaaay.
post #3 of 24
And the name of this consortium is?

Reuters doesn't mention it either. Strange, no?

Maybe because it is ePresse, which released an iPad app a couple of weeks ago. What's their answer to Apple" Giving away PDF versions of the print newspaper.

I don't see Apple shaking in their boots over free PDFs.
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

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.

I usually hate iOS formatted websites. They almost always suck and they often prevent you from breaking out of the crappy design and visiting the real website. It is particularly aggravating that you can't zoom on those types of sites. Companies should just optimize their regular web site for viewing on iOS devices rather than squeeze you into such a dumbed down design. Mostly a problem with iPhone. They usually don't auto detect the iPad for that purpose.

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post #5 of 24
What are they going to do about it when Apple says Non?
Are they going on strike like the peasants do all the time over there if the price of their apples is to low.
post #6 of 24
How much do magazines or newspapers usually give to retail? 30% seems to be decent cut.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

So, eight French newspapers think they're going to accomplish in negotiations with Apple what the entire magazine publishing industry has already failed to do? Ooooookaaaaay.

Uh, actually it's not "the entire magazine publishing industry" because if it were these guys would be included in that.

What happened before was just with the USA magazines which is far, far, far from the whole industry.

In any case this is just the same old story we've already seen. They will argue about it. A few (well it's France so probably a lot), of politicians who have their hands in the publishers pockets will be outraged. Apple will threaten to close up shop in France if they don't like it, and then they will cave-in.

Those that think they can get away with it will join the Apple store, those that don't will move to HTML magazine formats. Done.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

So, eight French newspapers think they're going to accomplish in negotiations with Apple what the entire magazine publishing industry has already failed to do? Ooooookaaaaay.

Apple can't continue this extortion forever.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ View Post

What are they going to do about it when Apple says Non?
Are they going on strike like the peasants do all the time over there if the price of their apples is to low.

Surrendering is always an option.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

What happened before was just with the USA magazines which is far, far, far from the whole industry.

Sure, but still far, far, far more than eight French newspapers. Regardless of my omission of a qualifier like "a large portion of the" or "the American magazine publishing industry", my point still stands.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mode View Post

Apple can't continue this extortion forever.

The real problem for the publishing industry is that Microsoft has already said that they will emulate Apple's 30% rule in their own app store. That leaves Google only charging 10%, which they are doing to try to undercut Apple and grow the Android tablet business. And as we all know, that's not working too well.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mode View Post

Apple can't continue this extortion forever.

It's not "extortion." There are plenty of online dictionaries that are terrific (and free!) that can help out.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Uh, actually it's not "the entire magazine publishing industry" because if it were these guys would be included in that.

What happened before was just with the USA magazines which is far, far, far from the whole industry.

In any case this is just the same old story we've already seen. They will argue about it. A few (well it's France so probably a lot), of politicians who have their hands in the publishers pockets will be outraged. Apple will threaten to close up shop in France if they don't like it, and then they will cave-in.

Those that think they can get away with it will join the Apple store, those that don't will move to HTML magazine formats. Done.


Wow, just wow. Apples success has gone straight to your head. Your 100% insane to think Apple is bigger then the country of France.

Try this out for size.
France will threaten anti competitive hearings against Apple. As a leading Euro zone country and policy maker and also basically in control of the IMF - Apple will shit their pants and comply with whatever it is France wants - or effectively be kicked out of Europe.
You don't think a few rulings in Samsungs/Nokias/Googles etc... favor over patent and trade disputes will be an effective negotiation tool?
Get your head out of your pompous American ass bro.
Apple watched Microsoft get their asses handed to them by the same people. I don't think they want that.

Thanks for the good laugh thou.
Apple > France...
post #14 of 24
Wouldn't this be collusion?
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mode View Post


Wow, just wow. Apples success has gone straight to your head. Your 100% insane to think Apple is bigger then the country of France.

Try this out for size.
France will threaten anti competitive hearings against Apple. As a leading Euro zone country and policy maker and also basically in control of the IMF - Apple will shit their pants and comply with whatever it is France wants - or effectively be kicked out of Europe.
You don't think a few rulings in Samsungs/Nokias/Googles etc... favor over patent and trade disputes will be an effective negotiation tool?
Get your head out of your pompous American ass bro.
Apple watched Microsoft get their asses handed to them by the same people. I don't think they want that.

Thanks for the good laugh thou.
Apple > France...

LOL, Apple will know it's a bluff and the French govenmeant will not do anything because Apple is not breaking any laws. Beyond that, your view of what the French govenmeant would do is too funny. The US govenmeant will complain to the German govenmeant and the Germans will tell the French to behave and that will be an end to the matter.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mode View Post

Apple can't continue this extortion forever.

Are you just the latest in a long line of Tekstud aliases?

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post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Wouldn't this be collusion?

Perhaps not in France.

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post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mode View Post

Apple can't continue this extortion forever.

Extortion ? Let's see ... Apple says you can ride on the train we built, and sell your wares as long as you follow our company policies and the price of your ticket is 30% of your take .. same deal as everyone else onboard. Is the 30% a problem for you? What would you deem as fair compensation (and why) ...15%, 5%, 0%... to the company whose expensive-to-create-and-maintain innovations efficiently expand your newspaper readership from inside a country no one gives a rat poop about, to covering the entire world? There's no undue pressure to sign on and nothing illegal going on plus there's no financial risk since, if no one wants to read your paper, you owe 30% of nothing. Where's the extortion?
post #19 of 24
30% goes towards:
bandwidth
iTunes store employees
marketing
some profit


honestly this isn't much... The magazines can charge more if they want more...
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by alienzed View Post

30% goes towards:
bandwidth
iTunes store employees
marketing
some profit


honestly this isn't much... The magazines can charge more if they want more...

The biggest chunk is the payment portion. That is worth 5-7% right there. (No, it only costs them 3%, but the value it provides is higher.)
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut View Post

LOL, Apple will know it's a bluff and the French govenmeant will not do anything because Apple is not breaking any laws. Beyond that, your view of what the French govenmeant would do is too funny. The US govenmeant will complain to the German govenmeant and the Germans will tell the French to behave and that will be an end to the matter.

Satire is truly dead in America.

or do you really believe that Apple is greater then world governments?

my... god... the horror Americans are about to face.
post #22 of 24
Wow it's been a while since I last posted. But I've been observing French media for a while so thought I'd chime it.

The consortium is almost certainly e-Presse Premium, a "groupement d'intérêt économique" (Economic Interest Group) set up in November last year to, essentially, respond to and upset the balance of power in a media environment increasingly dominated by Google, Apple and Facebook.

One of their primarily projects is a kiosque systen not unlike Apple's own Newstand. This would essentially be a basket subscription service that lets you pick and choose from several French publications. The hope is that a) greater choice of content, b) easy access and b) single format and account will entice readers. The newspapers, too, are conceivably better off because this is at least one way to monetize existing content.

A study carried out by the Boston Consulting Group (can't remember the year) actually found that 3 was the maximum people were willing to pay for news, rather insufficient especially in France where operating a business and employing people is a lot more expensive than in the US (largely because of policies regarding employee termination, minimum wages, overtime pay, social security coverage...).

In fact, an existing program (and iPad app) called Le Kiosque might actually be a direct result of this, although a lot more than just eight publications seem to be participating.

On a cultural note, saving traditional media ("la presse écrite") is a actually national priority in France, a country that takes pride in and values the written word. The term "crisis" is not unusual in relevant discussions, and the General State of the Press actually declared a state of emergency ("état d'urgence") in 2008.

Sarkozy spoke about it a few years ago, placing much of the blame on French publications' making their content available for free as a means of increasing readership/circulation. He argued, as did quite a few other peoplesome quite influentialthat this has led to readers being habituated to not paying for news. The challenge, according to those who hold this view, is to get even just part of the online viewers to pay.

Some money made available (by the state) to media groups to try to compete and modernise. This proposalsomeone mentioned "collusion" earlier, which, in some ways it isis a show of force, a group eight established and highly respected publications colluding with a common economic interest - that of survival.

Whether or not these publications (and their demands) are still relevant, especially in a saturated online media environment, remains to be seen. I'll keep a close eye
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ View Post

What are they going to do about it when Apple says Non?
Are they going on strike like the peasants do all the time over there if the price of their apples is to low.

If Apple says non, they will gavotte.
But if Apple says jamais, only then will they strike.
post #24 of 24
I'm wondering if they'll take the anti-trust route. If Google can be called to the carpet for its apparent "monopoly" with search, could Apple face similar treatment over its online services in the future (iTunes, iBooks, Newstand)?
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