FTC looking into Apple subscription terms, while first publishers get on board

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 152
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post




    This was done for one reason and one reason only, to protect iOS users from being taken advantage of by unfairly being charged more.



    I sure hope not. I want Apple's 30% to be form a huge number, and not a small one. So does Apple.



    The real reason is MUCH more brilliant than you might realize: Apple doesn't want its users shopping elsewhere. It doesn't want anybody going to internet storefronts looking for a better deal. Every iPad owner will know that the best price is ALWAYS the iPad app price. Apple will keep its customers down on the farm, and will never let them even have a desire to see New Orleans. That is brilliant.



    I expect a big pop when the publishers finally come around.



    And what about eBay? They have an app, and they should pay Apple 30% of the gross if they want to access Apple's devices and Apple's customers.
  • Reply 42 of 152
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


    And no, Apple's iBooks, iTunes and the AppStore all HOST the content, handle the transactions, distributes the content and pays for the rights at a flat 30% fee.



    Um, what are you smoking? That's obviously strong stuff!



    Apps and content are two separate things. Apple hosts the apps and handles vetting and selling those apps. In fact, they explicitly do not allow iDevices to use any apps which Apple does not host. That's why there's a battle royale between jailbreakers (who want to use apps which Apple will not allow) and Apple.



    Content is all hosted by the content seller. Amazon hosts and delivers Kindle books, MP3s, and TV shows/movies that they sell. Up until now, they also handled all payment processing for that content.



    iTunes also sells content. Apple hosts and sells music and video sold by their own store.



    Game developers (and some other app developers) who make use of Apple's IAP routines still host the content even though Apple is handling the payment processing.



    Hulu (obviously) hosts its own content, as does Netflix. Like Amazon, they have exclusively handled processing payments through their own systems; until now, that is.



    There are other apps I'm using on my iDevices which were developed by companies who were producing, distributing, and selling all the apps and content via their own systems years before the iDevice ecosystem even started development.



    In fact, in another comment thread, someone posted part of Apple's App Store policies which require content providers to host their own content.



    In short, you're flat wrong on this assertion.
  • Reply 43 of 152
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Long On Apple View Post


    If the content providers want people to read their stuff on an iPad, then the content providers can pay Apple for that privilege.



    Apple does not own me. I am not their slave. What makes you think they have a right to claim ownership of a device which belongs to me?
  • Reply 44 of 152
    Apples policy has to do with making the consumer happy. I prefer using the Apple iTunes store because they promise to keep my info private. How many times have you bought something online only to have your mailbox full of spam the next day. I don't have to put my credit card number on many different web sites. If Apple were to allow publishers to link to ouside web sites and set different prices the publishers could set the iTunes price artificially high so they would not have to pay Apple. Apple is not making a fortune from the App Store. They have stated they want to break even. Consumers will pay a fair value for content that is worth it. If they need to make money they need to make content available that is worth what the consumer is willing to pay. I have paid for apps that I could have chosen a free version for, but the paid version was worth more to me. Don't spoil the iTunes ecosystem by letting the greedy publishers/developers blame Apple for their inability to market content that is not worth paying for. Apple is looking out for the consumers best interest. If the publishers want their 30% let them use their own ecosystem.
  • Reply 45 of 152
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


    That's not price fixing. That's making sure your users aren't getting screwed



    Yeah, right. It means the content seller gets screwed. Or they cover the extra costs (30% of the entire selling price, not mere 30% of the seller's profit, which in some cases IS the seller's entire profit, and then some) by raising the price of their content every place they sell it, thus screwing even non-iDevice users.



    Someone gets screwed by this. Once everything shakes out, that's the end customer, in one form or another.
  • Reply 46 of 152
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,999member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by asdasd View Post


    Apple's new ads: we will add restrictions as we see fit during your development process, wiping out any sunk costs, so why not go develop for Android instead.



    Actually Apple is free to change the terms at any given time, if they so desire. If you were a developer, you would know that already. But I'm guessing you're neither a developer or publisher. iOS is not and never has been an open development platform. Anyone who wants to develop for iOS must get Apple's permission and pay $99 a year for that privilege. This is widely known.



    If you think that's bad, try writing an app for the Kindle or Nook. See how far you get. These type of platforms have existed long before iOS and will be around a lot longer.



    Why not develop for Android instead? Ask a developer that question... There's almost 150 million iOS users who spent $1.7 billion in dollars last year for apps and content. That's 80% of all revenue made from all mobile platforms. How much did Android bring in? 3%. So, why not develop for Android, you might make money by cramming ads in your apps.
  • Reply 47 of 152
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


    That's not price fixing. That's making sure your users aren't getting screwed - it is well within Apple's rights to make sure of that. It is not anti-competitive in any legal sense. Apple is not forcing them to do anything beyond Apple's own platform; play fair or get off their playground.



    Amazon used to take 70% plus download fees, and they set a price of no more than 9.99. Publishers got < $3. And to get your content on the Kindle you HAD to go through Amazon.



    You are right that Amazon and Apple can set any percentage they like. I don't think any reasonable person has any problems with that. It's absolutely their right to charge what they think is a fair percentage for access to their platform/service.



    But I think there is a case to made that the price fixing argument does apply in the case of Apple's rule of "equal or better pricing". Black's Law Dictionary, 7th Edition, defines price fixing as an "artificial setting or maintenance of prices at a certain level contrary to the workings of the free market."



    I would argue that the Apple's rule will artificially set the prices of those items in non-Apple outlets, circumventing competition between outlets. If my argument proves to be true, Apple will have ended up screwing the customer, because publishers will artificially add 30% to the price of their products no matter which outlet you buy it from. I do think that is the very definition of anti-competition.



    Or another way to look at it - without Apple's "equal or better" rule, prices will be lower in competing outlets.
  • Reply 48 of 152
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,999member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Long On Apple View Post


    And what about eBay? They have an app, and they should pay Apple 30% of the gross if they want to access Apple's devices and Apple's customers.



    Thanks for bringing that up. Actually no. The rules state that real world goods and services cannot be sold though Apple's IAP service. Apple is only interested in content, features or services that directly affect an app.
  • Reply 49 of 152
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EWTHeckman View Post


    Apple does not own me. I am not their slave. What makes you think they have a right to claim ownership of a device which belongs to me?



    You might own the device, but your right to use it is determined by the license you accepted when you bought it. You do NOT own the code. You agreed that Apple could modify its code.



    Try using your iPad without Apple's code. Good luck.



    You own a chunk of aluminum, glass and silicon. Apple owns everything else, and allows you to use it if you follow their rules.
  • Reply 50 of 152
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EWTHeckman View Post


    Someone gets screwed by this. Once everything shakes out, that's the end customer, in one form or another.



    I don't think so. If you subscribe using your iPad, you will get the best price. Every time.



    That is a win-win for consumers.
  • Reply 51 of 152
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macjbraun View Post


    Apples policy has to do with making the consumer happy. I prefer using the Apple iTunes store because they promise to keep my info private.



    If that's worth spending an extra 43% to you (that's how much higher prices have to be for sellers to receive the same amount) then feel free to make that choice for yourself. As for me, I resent having to pay a higher price to sellers who I've been doing business with for years (and who already have my information, by my own choice) because they're forced to raise prices to make sure they don't go broke from people buying stuff through their app.



    Put another way, if I'm buying from a vendor I know and have used for years, then they already have my info, and that's not a problem. If it's an unknown vendor, then I may prefer to use a middleman (like Apple) to protect my info, even if the cost is a bit higher. I've been doing that for years too.



    It is MY right to choose which cost/value proposition best fits me, not Apple's.
  • Reply 52 of 152
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,222member
    Apple cut maybe "high" but its not screwing up publishers at all. You will tons of mag and newspaper subscription appear soon in the app store.



    Its bad for resellers like Amazon, but since Apple is in the reselling business, why would it help other resellers? The solution for resellers is to not implement in-app purchasing and rely on there websites. They can still make a free app for there clients, but clients will need to go to there website for payments.
  • Reply 53 of 152
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,999member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EWTHeckman View Post


    Um, what are you smoking? That's obviously strong stuff!



    Apps and content are two separate things. Apple hosts the apps and handles vetting and selling those apps. In fact, they explicitly do not allow iDevices to use any apps which Apple does not host. That's why there's a battle royale between jailbreakers (who want to use apps which Apple will not allow) and Apple.



    Content is all hosted by the content seller. Amazon hosts and delivers Kindle books, MP3s, and TV shows/movies that they sell. Up until now, they also handled all payment processing for that content.



    iTunes also sells content. Apple hosts and sells music and video sold by their own store.



    Game developers (and some other app developers) who make use of Apple's IAP routines still host the content even though Apple is handling the payment processing.



    Hulu (obviously) hosts its own content, as does Netflix. Like Amazon, they have exclusively handled processing payments through their own systems; until now, that is.



    There are other apps I'm using on my iDevices which were developed by companies who were producing, distributing, and selling all the apps and content via their own systems years before the iDevice ecosystem even started development.



    In fact, in another comment thread, someone posted part of Apple's App Store policies which require content providers to host their own content.



    In short, you're flat wrong on this assertion.





    Nice. I know all of that. Now go back and read what I was arguing.



    Someone was stating that Amazon deserved 70% because they hosted all the content.



    I was merely saying, that Apple only charges 30% for the same services.
  • Reply 54 of 152
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


    You're right, that was never mentioned before, but neither was subscriptions. Apple instituted subscriptions and with came enforcing the original terms of not letting anyone sell anything in-app (this means any transaction originating from in an app, including linking to a web store front) without using Apple's IAP system.



    And with that came a new rule , which previously applied to iBooks, that content providers cannot charge more for content. This was done for one reason and one reason only, to protect iOS users from being taken advantage of by unfairly being charged more.



    Are you insane? It was done for one reason and one reason only. To make sure other sales channels did not undercut Apple's 30% charge for their service. And WTF are you talking about with unfairly? My state charges a higher tax on gasoline than the state to the South of us. Is it unfair that Sunoco charges me more for gas than they charge customers in the neighboring state? Hell no, their costs are higher here so they pass it on to me. That is perfectly fair.



    If I want to buy a physical book I can look at Borders, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and wherever else to find the best VALUE to me as a consumer. At my local B&N I can look over the book before I commit to buying and I can have it right now. Through Amazon, I can get it cheaper if I am willing to wait a couple of days. Both models work and I have a CHOICE, and so do the sellers. Is it unfair that B&N charges the customer more for the book? NO! They have the extra expense of offering a retail location, keeping books in stock etc. but they also offer what many consider to be a better service. Telling them they cannot charge more for their more expensive business model woulf be unfair.



    What Apple is saying is we want to raise the cost of selling electronic content on our devices by 30% but since we do not think consumers will value the service we provide, you may not pass that cost on to your customers. You need to sell everything through our retail channel at the same or lower price than any others because if we don't put in anti-competitive provisions we KNOW we will lose sales to cheaper competition. If Apple's iTunes store was actually that much better than any other purchase option, they would not need to do that. The content owners and reseller and anyone else would simply price their products how they want to and the consumer would choose iTunes if they felt the convienience justified the pricing.



    The udeniable fact with this policy is that Apple does not want to compete openly. They know that if content costs up to 43% more through Apple because iTunes/App store is a more expensive way to sell, then many sales will be lost to the cheaper competition. You can argue about the definition of the market and whether their anti-competitive behavior violates anti-trust, but there is no rational argument that what they are doing is not anti-competitive and not designed to reduce the ability for alternate sales channels to compete on an even playing field. This IS NOT in the consumers best interest and it is unbelievable how many Apple sheep are cheering and defending a policy designed to screw them over. Good lord people, WAKE UP!
  • Reply 55 of 152
    Sad to see AppleInsider pick up this story. Please point to a direct quote generated by the authors of this story that back up their premise. This is simply hackery, not journalism.



    You may not like Apple's policies, and regulators may well one day crack down on Apple, but this story doesn't tell me anything other than the people who the WSJ talked to, none of whom are in the government (in others words, publishers), are upset with Apple. Duh, I already knew that.
  • Reply 56 of 152
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


    You can laugh all you want. Bottom line is Apple is not doing anything illegal. There is no antitrust issue here. Apple is not telling providers how they should conduct business beyond Apple's own platform. They are making sure that iOS users have an easy one-click method for purchasing content and making sure the users are not getting screwed.



    And Jesus was a bitch anyway, of course it wept.



    1) If it is so clear there are no legal issues whay are there multiple regulatory agencies looking into it and why are legal experts saying that there may be a legal issue. It is not nearly as clear cut as you think.



    2) No, they are making sure that the users DO get screwed.



    "Guaranteed lowest price" is a marketing trick companies use to keep prices up and reduce competition. If Home Depot advertises that they have the guaranteed lowest price on tools, other hardware stores have no incentive to cut their price below HD's because HD will cut further and there will be a price war that will hurt both of them. Instead the guaranteed lowest price takes the incentive away from price competition and lets both companies keep their prices higher and the consumer loses. It is amazing to me how stupid the average consumer is that they have not fiured this out. Shows how our education system has shortchangesd us by not teaching basic finance and economic skills.
  • Reply 57 of 152
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mikeysbistro View Post


    But I think there is a case to made that the price fixing argument does apply in the case of Apple's rule of "equal or better pricing". Black's Law Dictionary, 7th Edition, defines price fixing as an "artificial setting or maintenance of prices at a certain level contrary to the workings of the free market."



    I would argue that the Apple's rule will artificially set the prices of those items in non-Apple outlets, circumventing competition between outlets. If my argument proves to be true, Apple will have ended up screwing the customer, because publishers will artificially add 30% to the price of their products no matter which outlet you buy it from. I do think that is the very definition of anti-competition.



    Or another way to look at it - without Apple's "equal or better" rule, prices will be lower in competing outlets.



    This isn't just a theory, this is an undeniable fact. You are correct that what they are doing is the very definition of anti-competitive, and there is no denying that content could be sold cheaper if they did not have to pay the 30%. We already have other retail outlets that operate below this cost structure.



    You can argue whether the anti-competitive behavior violates anti-trust laws, or whether what they are doing should or should not be illegal (laws can and do change just like Apples policies), but to say this is pro-consumer or not anti-competitive is factually wrong.
  • Reply 58 of 152
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


    Nice. I know all of that.



    ?



    I was merely saying, that Apple only charges 30% for the same services.



    But they don't provide the same services for content. Odd that you would make that claim right after you say that you know Apple doesn't provide those services.
  • Reply 59 of 152
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,999member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by herbapou View Post


    Youre getting it wrong, the 30% Apple cut is on top of profit. Lets say amazon sell a book, it has his cost (publisher) then is cut (profit). On an Apple in-app sell, it still has a fixed cost (publisher), it has the Apple "distribution price" (30%), then it has to make a profit.



    30% for distributing a digital copy is WAY WAY to much. It can be justified when selling an app because apps profit from the Apple Appstore ecosystem in terms of "promotion" and "easy of use". But once the app has been bought, Apple is not adding any "value" to the content.



    Its like Apple only has one field to store percentage, its 30% on everything... which is retarded imo.



    No. I'm not getting it wrong. I completely understand that Amazon is going to lose 30%. But Amazon is a RESELLER of content. They are not making or creator or publishing or producing, they are reselling someone else's content. Not only that, they have their own platform for doing this and are trying to hawk their goods on someone else's platform.



    Apple's system works for two groups, content creators and content consumers. Apple doesn't give a crap about resellers who get between creators and consumers.



    Again with 30%... Amazon gets up to 70% for distributing digital copies, plus they charge download fees. 30% is not obscene. In fact, Amazon charged everyone 70% before Apple introduced iBooks with its flat 30% fee.



    It seems to me that everyone thinks it is fair for Apple to take a different cut of the same content just because someone might not make a profit due to their business model. So Apple needs to start accounting for every different business model and pricing structure?
  • Reply 60 of 152
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,999member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EWTHeckman View Post


    But they don't provide the same services for content. Odd that you would make that claim right after you say that you know Apple doesn't provide those services.



    They don't?



    So you're saying that Apple doesn't distribute music, movies and tv shows through iTunes?

    They don't distribute ebooks through the iBooks store?
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