According to the Wall Street Journal and MacObserver, Apple’s recent moves to prevent applications running on iPad and iPhone sending people outside the “Apple Payment Channels” to pay for extra content, subscriptions or services have been referred to the DOJ.

The issue at stake is whether a newpaper can provide an app that provides paid for access to extra services, where the extra services are billed for using a non-Apple (i.e. where Apple does not keep 30%) method.  Apple recently changed its T&C to prevent such routes to market.

Unlike almost every other mobile phone or tablet, Apple has disabled the ability to download content such as music, videos, files, images, apps from the Safari browser and will not allow any other route to bypass its “App Store”.  That means that being in the App Store is vital for people wanting to sell content to iPhone users, and compliance with its mercurial rules.