Major U.S. Publishers Join Coalition for App Fairness

A group of major U.S. news publishers have joined the Coalition for App Fairness, a collaborative organization set up to highlight issues with Apple, mainly from developers (via TechCrunch).

coalition upscale feature

Digital Content Next, which represents the AP, The New York Times, NPR, ESPN, Vox, The Washington Post, Meredith, Bloomberg, NBCU, The Financial Times, and more, has become the 50th member to join the Coalition for App Fairness.

A number of other European media organizations have already joined the Coalition for App Fairness, including the European Publishers Council, News Media Europe, GESTE, and Schibsted. Digital Content Next is the first to represent the news and media industry in the United States, and accumulatively reaches an audience of over 233 million unique visitors and 100 percent of the U.S. online population.

The publishers believe that Apple "severely impacts" their subscription-based models by serving as an intermediary. In short, the argument postulates that Apple is wrong to force publishers to use in-app payments for subscription services, which, in turn, means that prices have to rise to account for Apple's commission.

"DCN is pleased to join the Coalition for App Fairness working to establish a fair and competitive digital landscape," Digital Content Next CEO Jason Kint said in a statement. "The premium publisher members of DCN enjoy trusted, direct relationships with consumers, who don't expect intermediaries to impose arbitrary fees and rules which limit their ability to consume the news and entertainment they love."

Earlier this year, Digital Content Next criticized Apple's business practices when it halved its commission from 30 percent to 15 percent for video subscription apps. The organization alleges that Apple amended its App Store rules for Amazon specifically, in order to get Amazon's Prime Video app on iOS and tvOS. Publishers essentially wanted the same discounted fee for themselves but were unable to do so, despite the fact that Apple says its App Store rules are applied evenly.

Furthermore, Digital Content Next argues that Apple's fees and Safari's blocking of third-party cookies and tracking workarounds have pushed publishers away from direct audience revenue, such as subscriptions and events. It claims that Apple has instead pushed them toward digital ads where they had to pay a 30 percent commission on earnings.

Publishers have also expressed concerns about Apple News+ limiting revenue, affording "little in the way of direct relationships with readers," and giving "little control over the business," with some publications such as The New York Times, which is part of Digital Context Next, withdrawing from the service entirely.

"Having DCN join the Coalition for App Fairness is a landmark moment for our campaign, and their insight into core issues with the ‌App Store‌ that top outlets face will only make our voice stronger," said Sarah Maxwell, spokesperson for the Coalition for App Fairness, in a statement. "We're excited to work with them to advocate for ‌App Store‌ policies that are fair, hold Apple accountable, and give consumers freedom of choice."

The Coalition for App Fairness was founded by a large group of companies, such as Epic Games, Spotify, Tile, Basecamp, Blix, Blockchain, Deezer, Match, Prepear, ProtonMail, and SkyDemon, many of whom have had major disagreements with Apple over various issues.

The organization describes itself as "an independent nonprofit organization founded by industry-leading companies to advocate for freedom of choice and fair competition across the app ecosystem." The coalition is based in Washington D.C. and Brussels, and aims to lead legal and regulatory changes with regards to what it says are three key issues; "anti-competitive policies," "30 percent app tax," and "no consumer freedom."

Top Rated Comments

ossifer Avatar
4 weeks ago
Analogy: I am going to take my wares to my local Target. I demand: shelf space, security, monitoring, customer service, returns and check-out services all be provided free of charge by Target, and I refuse to give anything to Target.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
deevey Avatar
4 weeks ago
Is it just me ? I honestly don't see the need for any app to read news.

Is there something wrong with their website ? What can their app do that a website cannot ?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Darth.Titan Avatar
4 weeks ago


Now watch how the regulators put the squeeze on Apple and Apple starts whining in turn. The customers will win though.

You're under the impression that the government is acting in the interest of the customer? That's cute. The government (Regardless of which country) only intercedes when there's something in it for them. They love to levy fines and accept money "to protect the customer."

Apple is unfortunately making too much money right now to be ignored. They've painted a big red target on their backs and every government in the world is doing everything they can to squeeze them for whatever they can.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CaTOAGU Avatar
4 weeks ago
"members of DCN enjoy trusted, direct relationships with consumers, who don't expect intermediaries to impose arbitrary fees and rules which limit their ability to consume the news and entertainment they love."

Hold on! First of all it's not a trusted relationship in the positive sense they're desperately trying to make it out to be. People don't want to give Epic, or any other publisher their contact details, usually they only do so because they're compelled to do so. These are the same people who historically have sold those user details to others. What they'd like to really get back to is the days of, "book of the month", where they sent you a book and it was on you to send it back if you didn't want to pay for it.

So yes, their relationship might have been direct but there's no way in hell it was ever trusted.

Whatever the outcome of this, no one should be under any illusion that this bunch have your best interests at heart. Because one things for sure, they'll pay lip service to competition but if any of them, could corner the market and get rid of their competitors, they'd do it in a heartbeat.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
reyesmac Avatar
4 weeks ago
Apple users already are used to paying the Apple Tax. I don't feel sorry if companies have to do so as well. They can get a discount when the rest of us do.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ryanflanders256 Avatar
4 weeks ago
"Media conglomerates against media conglomeration" would be a great name for this coalition.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...
cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 10:03 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a month after Apple released the first betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
caldigit thunderbolt 4 dock featured

CalDigit Introduces USB-C Dock With 10 Ports and Up to 94W Charging for Macs [Updated]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 9:16 am PST by
CalDigit today unveiled a new Thunderbolt 4 dock with a wide selection of connectivity options, including three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The dock also has a Thunderbolt 4 port that allows it to be connected to a Mac with a single cable, with up to 94W of pass-through charging for the latest MacBook...