Apple Picking Off eBook Competition?

Apple has rejected Sony’s eBook reader application for the iPad, citing the fact that the store does not route in-app purchases through Apple. The Kindle and Nook eBook readers have not yet been removed from the App Store (though they commit the same offense as Sony).

It seems to be pretty cut-and-dry at this point, and while one rejected app is no reason to fret, if Apple continues to kill off the competition—or force them to pay the Apple-tax, it could spell bad news for customers who favor their freedom of choice.

The company has told some applications developers, including Sony, that they can no longer sell content, like e-books, within their apps, or let customers have access to purchases they have made outside the App Store.

Recently, Apple has loosened their grip on the App Store’s tight restrictions, and even allowed apps like VLC to exist within their walled garden (however briefly). But, driving all in-app sales through Apple is a definite cause for concern: if Apple shaves and extra percentage off the top of competitor’s eBook sales, it could cause their prices to rise—the beginnings of anti-competitive practices.


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