European publishers to hold meeting over Apple’s proposed subscriptions change

Earlier this month it was alleged that Apple had told a number of European newspapers that soon they would not be able to offer print subscribers free access to iPad editions through the App Store.

According to this report by Apple Insider, Apple is keen to make the change to prevent publishers cutting it out of the 30 per cent fee it requires.

The story developed this week as reports such as this one by the Financial Times claimed that Apple had told book publishers customers could be given the ability to purchase books outside of an app as long as the same option is also available to customers from via an in-app purchase.

It’s not yet been confirmed whether this will apply to news media apps as well, although some reports are claiming it will.

Last week the International Newsmedia Marketing Association announced that it will hold an invitation-only roundtable on tablet subscriptions at the Park Inn Hotel at Heathrow Airport on 17 February, claiming that “Apple is changing the rules”. The roundtable will analyse Apple’s new plan, discuss ways to work with it and look at alternative subscription models.

Today paidContent reported that publishers in Belgium and France are taking the matter to the authorities, “making requests that Apple be investigated by antitrust watchdogs”.

Apple has not responded to requests for comment but paidContent points out that the situation may be made clearer later today when Apple’s VP of internet services Eddy Cue joins Rupert Murdoch to launch News Corp’s new iPad newspaper, the Daily.

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