French Newspapers Unite Against Apple Newsstand

Apple, known for its dominance in the digital media sales arena via iTunes, is now venturing into the realm of digital periodicals with its iOS 5 application, Newsstand. This app serves as a virtual marketplace where users can purchase both single issues and subscriptions to various publications.

In response, a consortium of French newspapers and magazines is challenging Apple’s approach by launching their collaborative digital sales platform.

According to Reuters, prominent French publications such as Le Figaro, Les Echos, le Nouvel Observateur, and L’Equipe are part of this alliance. They have initiated their own digital kiosk specifically for iPad users.

These publishers are also in talks with Apple, demanding significant changes to the terms of selling on Newsstand, particularly concerning Apple’s 30 percent cut and its policy on withholding customer data from publishers.

Xavier Spender of L’Equipe highlighted the financial disadvantage of digital sales on Newsstand compared to traditional print, stating that digital editions are less profitable. To counteract this, the group has partnered with Google for their subscription services on Android platforms, where Google only takes a 10 percent commission and permits publishers more freedom in pricing and access to customer information.

Their digital marketplace, available at, is operational, with plans to start selling subscriptions starting November.


Frank is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing readers the latest news and insights about Apple products. With a keen eye for detail, Frank covers everything from the newest iPhone releases to the latest updates on macOS and iPadOS. His articles are known for their clarity and depth, making complex tech topics accessible to everyone. When he’s not writing, Frank enjoys exploring new features on his Apple Watch and testing out the latest MacBook Pro. His commitment to staying up-to-date with all things Apple ensures that TUAW readers are always in the know.