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Apple Blocks Facebook Update For Notifying Users About Apple's 30% Commission

Mayukh Bari28 August 2020 5:48PM IST
2 min read244

Facebook told Reuters on Thursday that Apple has blocked an update to its iOS app for notifying users about the 30% commission which Apple takes on in-app purchases.

Recently Facebook launched a new tool which will allow users to buy tickets to virtual events in-app. Facebook claimed that they don't take any commission for this service. But according to Apple policy they had to pay 30% on each and every in-app purchases. When Facebook released an update to notify the users about the commission, Apple blocked the update saying it contained "irrelevant" information for users.

On August 14, Facebook said it had asked Apple to waive its usual 30% fee for the new tool so that all the money could be passed onto small business owners hosting paid events. But as usual Apple declined. This new incident took Facebook's fight with Apple to a new height. When Reuters approached Apple, they declined to comment on this issue.

Facebook said the update, which contained a "transparency notice" telling users that 30% of their payment goes to Apple, was rejected by Apple because it contained "irrelevant" information for users. A spokesperson from Facebook said,

Now more than ever, we should have the option to help people understand where money they intend for small businesses actually goes. Unfortunately Apple rejected our transparency notice around their 30% tax but we are still working to make that information available inside the app experience.

Apple is already in a big legal battle with "Fortnite" creator Epic Games after it removed "Fortnite" from the App Store. Epic Games created an alternative payment system in "Fortnite" which helped users to bypass Apple's 30% commission - resulting a reduction of 30% of total purchase value.

Last year music-streaming giant Spotify also filed a complaint, claiming the fee allows Apple to artificially inflate prices while launching its own competing apps. Apple is already under antitrust investigation for both of these cases.