Facebook joined the growing number of companies publicly complaining about the 30% fee Apple charges for payments through the App Store.
These complaints came in the middle of a blog post about the social network's new feature to support paid online events. Facebook said that in order to help companies in trouble, it will not charge for these events for at least next year, which means these companies will keep 100% of payments on the internet and Android.
However, Facebook said it won't do so on iOS due to the App Store fees and targeted Apple with surprisingly direct language (at least directly for a company blog post):
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 SMEs only receive 70% of their hard-earned earnings. Since this is complicated, we will clarify all fees in our products as long as Facebook waives its fees.
For this purpose, the post contains screenshots of what the payment flow for events will look like on iOS and Android . On Android it says, “Facebook does not charge a fee for this purchase”, while on iOS, “Apple will take 30% of this purchase”.
According to Facebook, this language is included in the app update "we submitted to Apple for approval today". This indicates that the update may not be approved.
This only happens about 24 hours after Fortnite was removed from the App Store after Epic Games added direct payments to its hit title. It seemed like Epic was intentionally trying to provoke a fight. The company quickly announced a lawsuit against Apple and released a short in-game video parodying Apple's famous 1984 commercial, starring Apple as the bad guy. (The game maker is in a similar battle with Google and Android.)
While Apple's 30% fee has been around as long as the App Store itself, the issue came to the fore earlier this summer after Basecamp got into a public feud over its Hey subscription email app, which the developer tried to bypass The company advised on app store fees by only accepting subscription payments on the site.
Apple's Phil Schiller told us at the time that the controversy didn't cause the company to reconsider any of their rules, which he believed were designed for a better app experience – avoiding situations where “you're downloading the app and it doesn't work. ”