FTC Looking into Apple’s App Store Rules Regarding Subscription Services


According to a new report from Reuters, the Federal Trade Commission is now looking into Apple’s App Store policies regarding subscription services. Apple’s policies include a 30 percent fee that it collects on all app and subscription revenue routed through the App Store.

The antitrust concerns stem from several App Store restrictions places on streaming companies, which includes a ban on advertising how users can subscribe to their service and a ban on links to the company’s website.

Users can still subscribe to the service of their choice outside of the App Store and avoid the 30 percent free for the respective company. However, sources tell Reuters that many users don’t realize its an option.

“U.S. government antitrust regulators are looking into claims about whether Apple’s treatment of rival streaming music apps is illegal under antitrust law, according to three industry sources.”

The 30 percent fee reduces the margins for those streaming companies in an industry that is already filled with tough competition and thin margins.

While the FTC is looking into the App Store rules, there is no guarantee that they launch a formal investigation against Apple. Antitrust lawyers are reportedly split when deciding whether or not Apple is breaking the law.

On Wednesday, Spotify sent emails to subscribers asking them to cancel their App Store subscriptions and resubscribe on the web. By doing this, Apple avoids a $3 surcharge because of Apple’s App Store policies.