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US News Publishers Join Group Seeking To Lower App Store Fees

Major U.S. news publishers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, ESPN, Bloomberg and others, have now joined the Coalition for App Fairness, according to a report from 9to5Mac, with the intent to protest the “Apple tax.”

The companies mostly joined through the will of publisher Digital Content Next (DCN), the report stated, which represents several major publishers in the U.S. The coalition was formed earlier this year by the founding members, Epic Games, Spotify and Tile, among others, working to bring attention to the problems with the App Store and create change.

“Every day, Apple taxes consumers and crushes innovation,” the coalition’s stance reads, according to the report. “The Coalition for App Fairness is an independent nonprofit organization founded by industry-leading companies to advocate for freedom of choice and fair competition across the app ecosystem.”

DCN’s biggest issue with Apple’s policies is the 30 percent commission charged by Apple, the report stated, and the publisher had an issue with the fact that Apple gave Amazon only a 15 percent commission. Many publishers want to see something more along those lines.

DCN cited the massive audience its publications reach — over 223 million unique visitors and 100 percent of the U.S. online population — along with the fact that it works on a subscription basis, the report stated. Apple, according to DCN, impacts the publisher’s revenues by taking a 30 percent commission cut. Some publishers, because of the ubiquity of the App Store and the commission, end up having to raise their prices.

Apple has changed its rules on the commission for some, however. In November, the tech giant announced it would let companies earning less than $1 million after commissions be eligible for a program to access the 15 percent commission rate. According to Apple, this would apply to a “vast majority” of the more than 28 million registered developers.

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