Apple to offer newspaper subscriptions for iPad

The San Jose Mercury News said the launch was expected "soon" but was being delayed by a tussle between Apple and publishers over who should control subscriber data.

Publishers want to retain control of the information to enable them to better target ads to readers, while Apple wants to keep control of subscribers' information in iTunes.

Another sticking point is the revenue-sharing agreement. Apple wants to keep 30 percent of the subscription price in return for delivering the customers and managing the transactions, while the publishers want to pay Apple a set fee and not a commission, according to the report.

Publishers have long regarded Apple's iPad tablet computer as a promising device which could finally offset the continued plunge in subscriptions caused by the internet.
Several prominent companies such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today have already launched special editions for the iPad, with the Wall Street Journal charging $3.99 a week for access.

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