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European publishers feel 'betrayed' by Apple's iOS app subscriptions


Though Apple has not officially revealed the terms of its new recurring application subscription service, publishers across Europe reportedly feel "betrayed" and have planned a summit in London later this month.

As reported Wednesday by, publishers in Europe are upset with Apple and its apparent rejection of Sony's e-reader application for iOS devices. Sony revealed to The New York Times this week that its digital bookstore was blocked from the App Store by Apple.

In response, the head of the International Newsmedia Marketing Association, which represents about 5,000 members in 80 countries worldwide, reportedly plans to meet with the European Online Publishers Association in an invitation-only roundtable on Feb. 17 in London. It was said that the two organizations plan to "compare notes" on Apple's subscription rules for iOS software.

"Some say they feel betrayed," said Grzegorz Piechota, European resident of the INMA. "They believed that it would be a great way to access content from newspapers and magazines. So they hyped the iPad, and many of them invested in apps for it."

"By promoting these apps, they promoted the device. Publishers in fact helped to make the iPad successful on the market."

Piechota claims that Apple has been inconsistent in communicating and implementing new policies. He noted that Apple denied that it has changed its policies on the App Store, but is instead now enforcing already established rules.

"We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase," Apple spokeswoman Trudy Miller said.

Publishers in Europe first caught wind of Apple's plans last month, when a number of daily newspapers revealed that they were told by Apple they could no longer offer paid print subscribers free access to an iPad edition through the App Store. By offering free access to existing subscribers, newspapers can avoid charging for access through the iPad, and can avoid paying Apple a 30 percent cut of all transactions on the App Store.

Apple's head of iTunes, Eddy Cue, was asked on Wednesday about Apple's new recurring application subscription plans, which debuted with the launch of the new tablet-only newspaper The Daily. But Cue declined to reveal any details on the new application subscription feature, and said that Apple would reveal more details in the near future.