Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

FTC Looking Into Apple’s Cut of Competitors’ Music Streaming Subscriptions Sold Through the App Store

Diane Bartz and Julia Love of Reuters:

Apple recently launched a new music streaming service, Apple Music. It also provides the App Store platform for competing streaming services including Jango, Spotify, Rhapsody and others.

Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all in-app purchases for digital goods, such as music streaming subscriptions and games, sold on its platform.

While $9.99 has emerged as the going monthly rate for music subscriptions, including Apple’s, some streaming companies complain that Apple’s cut forces them to either charge more in the App Store than they do on other platforms or erode their profit margins.

I don’t know what the law is around this sort of behaviour, but it illustrates how murky it is, and how the legal system isn’t keeping up with rapid advances in technology. The closest analogy I can think of are supermarket house brands, but those are physical goods subject to vastly different regulation than electronic communications.