Newspapers protest BBC iPhone news apps

A trade group representing the newspaper industry is kicking up over the news that the BBC is to expand its iPhone app offerings to include a dedicated BBC News application for Apple's mobile platform.

The Newspaper Publishers Association, or NPA, has "urged" the BBC Trust to look at the plans, which also include a BBC Sports app due in time for the World Cup, arguing that the BBC is "muscling" in, "trampling aspirations" and will "distort" the market.

As well as appeal to the BBC Trust, the group said it plans to take the issues to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and MPs on the Media Select Committee.

"Not for the first time, the BBC is preparing to muscle into a nascent market and trample over the aspirations of commercial news providers", said David Newell, director of the NPA.

The Beeb reports Newell saying that the market for iPhone news apps was "a unique and narrow commercial space" that would be "distorted" by the BBC apps.

However, the BBC says its online service licence is "quite explicit in allowing the BBC to repurpose its online content for consumption on mobile devices" so it seems unlikely the NPA will see any joy with their complaints.