Seeking to prove there is strength in numbers, eight key French publications are working together to negotiate a distribution contract with Apple. The publishers, which include newspaper Le Figaro and sports daily L’Equipe, believe they will get a better deal by working as one, according to Reuters. Depending on what happens, this could change the way other publishers negotiate with Apple.

First formed 18 months ago, the consortium of six papers and two magazines hope “to work on strategies for monetizing online content and finding new business models.”

In this case, they hope to persuade Apple to agree to key concessions before letting any of their publications into the App Store.

When it arrived in February, many were upset with Apple’s subscription program, which gives the company 30 percent of each sale plus subscriber data.

Assuming the consortium can get Apple to agree to some concessions, it could mean big things for other publishers as well.

For example, the day could come when U.S. publishers band together to force concessions from Apple was well. This is particularly timely, given Apple is set to release its new Newsstand app with iOS 5.

We’ll keep you updated. For now, the eight French publications are not in the App Store.