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'Financial Times' pulls apps from Apple store as row intensifies

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Published 01/09/2011 | 05:00

THE 'Financial Times' (FT) has pulled its iPhone and iPad apps from Apple's App Store as the row between the publishing and technology giants moved up another notch.

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'FT' withdrew its apps as part of an ongoing dispute with Apple over revenue sharing, which is being closely watched by the publishing world.

Under the rules governing its App Store, Apple insists all applications must be downloaded from its store only and does not allow downloads from a company website.

These rules give Apple ownership of customer data from those transactions, as well as a 30pc cut of revenues earned.

In June, the newspaper made its apps for the iPhone and iPad available on its website and warned customers the apps available on iTunes would eventually be wound down.

An 'FT' spokesman said the disagreement with Apple was "amicable", and the newspaper still intended to offer other apps via the App Store, including one for its weekend luxuries magazine 'How to Spend It'. Any future App Store offerings would be funded via advertising only and not subscriptions; therefore avoiding a conflict with Apple.

The dispute is drawing significant interest from the publishing world, with many companies looking at the stand-off as a test of strength between Apple and the media company.

If the newspaper, which is owned by media group Pearson, succeeds in its fight, it could open the door to a torrent of similar moves by other publishers.

About a quarter of the newspaper's sales come via its website, and mobile devices make up 22pc of the traffic on ft.com. The newspaper had 230,000 paid subscriptions in the first six months of 2011 -- an increase of a third year-on-year.

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