Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Apple's 30% tax on App Store revenue may have steered another tech giant in the wrong direction: Facebook. Earlier this month, Facebook announced a new feature that would allow influencers and businesses to host online events that users would have to pay to access. Apple typically charges a 30% fee for all purchases made through an iOS app. However, Facebook hoped the iPhone maker would make an exception for this supposedly community-oriented tool. Apple refused.

On Thursday, Facebook told Reuters that it was trying to alert iOS users about the Apple fee, explaining why organizers would get 70% of their earnings. However, Apple blocked this because of "irrelevant" information. Facebook previously said it wouldn't cost any of the money organizers made using the tool for the next year.

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"Now, more than ever, we should have the opportunity to help people understand where the money they intend for small businesses is actually going to," a Facebook spokesman told CNET. "Unfortunately, Apple has declined our transparency notice regarding the 30% tax, but we're still working on making that information available in the app."

Apple was asked to comment but did not respond immediately.

A demo of Facebook's upcoming paid event feature.


Facebook's complaint is timely, as is Apple involved in a lawsuit with Epic Games about the same problem. Epic's success, Fortnite, was kicked off the App Store earlier this month after Epic developed a direct payment scheme that allowed Fortnite players to purchase in-game currency directly from Epic rather than through Apple in order to receive Apple's 30% tax bypass. Epic replied with Lawsuit against Apple and Google who booted Fornite from their Play Store for the same reason.

Facebook introduces the new feature as a much-needed tool for small businesses, creatives and influencers in the COVID-19 era where face-to-face meetings are restricted. In the mid-August blog announcing the paid events feature, Facebook promised not to charge the feature for "at least the next year".

"When it comes to online and Android transactions in countries where we have introduced Facebook Pay, small businesses keep 100% of the income they generate from online paid events," the blog said. "We asked Apple to cut the App Store tax by 30% or offer Facebook Pay so we could cover all costs for companies struggling during COVID-19. Unfortunately, they both declined our requests and SMBs only received 70% of their requests. " hard earned income. "


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