Washington – The U.S. Justice Dept. and Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) are looking at Apple’s (NASD: AAPL) new subscription terms for selling
content via its iPhone and iPad devices, The Wall Street Journal reported,
citing people familiar with the matter. The probe is reportedly at a
"preliminary" stage, and may not develop into a formal investigation
or result in any actions taken.
The antitrust regulators are investigating whether
Apple is breaking the law by insisting publishers use its subscription system
to collect payments from iPhone and iPad users — where it collects a 30% cut.
Apple is also prohibiting publishers from offering links within their apps to
websites where consumers could purchase their products, or from offering a
better deal anywhere outside of its App Store.
Previously, U.S. antitrust
regulators have looked at Apple’s music business practices, as well as issues
with rival Adobe’s Flash platform, and how third-party ad networks are treated on
(DMW previous coverage)