Belgium to probe Apple's policy on iPad newspaper apps

17th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Belgium said Monday it would probe Apple's policy of requiring newspapers and magazines to go through the iTunes store to sell their applications for the iPad tablet.

Economy Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne asked the country's competition watchdog to review whether Apple abused its dominant position after several Belgian and Dutch editors were notified about the US company's policy.

A recent document from Apple "indicates that from now on, iPad subscriptions will only be sold via iTunes," the minister's office said in a statement.

If newspapers and magazines can no longer sell their subscriptions for iPad users through their own channels, "this looks like an abuse of a dominant position," it said.

Belgium could launch a formal investigation if the review spots any problems with the policy, the ministry said, warning it could also transfer the case to the European Union's competition watchdog.

© 2011 AFP

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