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Coalition for App Fairness gains major US news publishers, aiming to cut App Store commission

The Coalition for App Fairness was formed back in September by founding members Epic Games, Spotify, Tile, and more. The goal is to draw attention to their issues with Apple’s App Store practices to create change. In a big development, major US news publishers including The New York Times, NPR, ESPN, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, and many more have joined the coalition to push against what the coalition calls the “Apple tax.”

This is the Coalition for App Fairness‘ stance on Apple’s App Store practices:

Every day, Apple taxes consumers and crushes innovation. The Coalition for App Fairness is an independent nonprofit organization founded by industry-leading companies to advocate for freedom of choice and fair competition across the app ecosystem.

There were 13 founding members for the coalition in September. In October, Microsoft came out with its own changes to its app store based on the list of concerns laid out by Coalition for App Fairness (CAF) and took a shot at Apple at the same time.

Now CAF is seeing a major boost to its members with Digital Content Next, a publisher trade association joining the coalition (via TechCrunch). Digital Content Next (DCN) represents many major US news publishers including The New York Times, NPR, ESPN, Vox, The Washington Post, Meredith, Bloomberg, NBCU, The Financial Times, and lots more.

DCN’s biggest qualm with the App Store is the 30% commission that Apple charges. Here’s a bigger picture look at how huge DCN and the publishers it represents is:

DCN’s members, combined, reach an audience over 223 million unique visitors and 100% of the U.S. online population, it says. Its publishers provide access to content on a subscription-based model that, according to its statements, Apple “severely impacts” by serving as an intermediary. The organization’s argument is that Apple forces publishers to use in-app payments for services like subscriptions. As a result, some publishers need to raise their prices to account for the so-called “Apple tax,” or commission, on these purchases.

DCN has brought up its problem with the 15% deal that Apple gave Amazon and no surprise, that’s what all of these publishers would like to see.

Notably, Apple did lower the App Store commission to 15% for developers making less than $1 million a year. Of course, that doesn’t apply to major new publishers.

Here’s what CAF had to say about DCN joining:

“Having DCN join the Coalition for App Fairness is a landmark moment for our campaign, and their insight into core issues with the App Store that top outlets face will only make our voice stronger,” said Sarah Maxwell, spokeswoman for the Coalition for App Fairness, in a statement. “We’re excited to work with them to advocate for App Store policies that are fair, hold Apple accountable, and give consumers freedom of choice,” she added.

This has been a particularly intense week for Apple with shots being fired from all sides:

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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.