Apple rejects Facebook app that tells users that Apple takes 30% cut of in-app purchases

Tech

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California, June 3, 2019.

Mason Trinca | Reuters

Apple rejected one of Facebook‘s new app updates, Facebook confirmed to CNBC on Friday. The app tried to inform users that Apple collects 30% of in-app purchases from a new online events feature.

Earlier this month, Facebook launched the feature that lets businesses host paid online events in an effort to renew some of the business lost due to Covid-19. Facebook asked Apple to reduce its 30% App Store cut, since it wanted all of the money to go directly to the small businesses, but was rejected.

Reuters first reported the app was rejected.

In an effort to inform users of Apple’s cut, Facebook instead planned to add a line inside the iPhone app that informs users that “Apple takes 30% of this purchase.” Facebook was unsure if Apple would approve the language and, ultimately, it didn’t.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

This is what the app looks like, notice the language on the left under the purchase button:

The iPhone app, on the left, shows that Apple collects 30% of each purchase.

Facebook

Facebook said that if users make the same purchase elsewhere, whether on the web or through the app on an Android phone, small businesses will keep 100% of the revenue.

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

Top app makers in recent weeks have started to speak out against Apple and its App Store policies. Epic Games, for example, tested Apple’s policy by sidestepping the 30% rule in an update to its hit game Fortnite, and then sued after Apple removed the game from the App Store

Apple has argued that it tries to keep a level playing field for all developers and that it takes a standard 30% cut from all in-app purchases.

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