Apple announces controversial subscription policy

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Cupertino, Calif.—To much gnashing of cyber teeth, Apple Inc. unveiled the terms of its subscription service for content such as magazines and newspapers available for apps on the App Store. Through this digital subscription billing service, which is the same one being used by News Corp.'s iPad app, The Daily, Apple processes all payments and retains a 30% share as it does on all in-store app purchases, the company said.

“Our philosophy is simple—when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30% share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100% and Apple earns nothing,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs, in a statement.

Several aspects of the Apple announcement raised controversy in the blogosphere. Most prominently, publishers do not have guaranteed access to subscriber data on people who purchase the app via the App Store; subscribers can opt-in to provide that data to publishers. 

Additionally, Apple said publishers may not provide links in their apps allowing customers to purchase subscriptions or content outside of the app.

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