Apple's decision to grab a revenue share from e-book purchases made via apps raises questions over the future of Amazon's Kindle app, according to media reports. As The Bookseller reported yesterday, the FT notes that Apple is now presenting Amazon with a choice. Either it withdraws its iPad Kindle app or it allows Apple to take a 30% cut of any Kindle e-book purchases on the iPad.
Removing all doubt about how it will treat e-books, an Apple spokeswoman confirms to MarketWatch that companies such as Amazon will be allowed to sell e-books from within their apps. But those sales will be subject to Apple’s fee requirements, which currently allow Apple to collect 30% of the revenue from such sales.
The battle is is made more intriguing for the FT by the individuals involved. It writes: "The Apple-Amazon standoff is intriguing because it involves two companies run by innovative, secretive, control freaks – Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos. Mr Bezos’ response will be one to savour."
Business Week notes that "Apple knows that it has most publishers over a barrel, which is just where it had the music industry when the company first launched iTunes", but says that "Amazon may hold further options because it owns its platform, but magazine and newspaper companies are desperate to find some way to charge their readers".
The Wall Street Journal says Apple’s new subscription service includes a few terms that could draw antitrust scrutiny. It writes: "Publishers, for example, might claim that Apple dominates the market for consumer tablet computers and that it has allegedly used that commanding position to restrict competition. Apple, in turn, might define the market to include all digital and print media, and counter that any publisher not happy with Apple’s terms is free to still reach its customers through many other print and digital outlets."
All Things Digital reports that apps not up to speed with the new regs have until 30th June to comply. Here is a memo sent to publishers: “For existing apps already in the App Store, we are providing a grace period to bring your app into compliance with this guideline. To ensure your app remains on the App Store, please submit an update that uses the In App Purchase API for purchasing content, by June 30, 2011.”