The Facebook update informed users that Apple would keep 30% of their purchases
Apple blocked Facebook’s attempt to inform users about the 30% fee that Apple would take from all in-app purchases made through a new online events feature, Facebook told Reuters.
Apple reportedly told Facebook that the update violated an App Store rule that prevents developers from showing “irrelevant” information to users.
Facebook planned to launch a new tool in its app that allows online influencers and other businesses to host paid online events as a way to recoup revenue lost during the global health crisis. The feature allows Facebook users to buy event tickets directly through the app.
The old rules of Apple’s App Store say say that the iPhone maker takes 30% of all in-app purchases. When Facebook asked Apple to waive the fee so it could pass on all proceeds from the events to business owners, Apple allegedly refused.
The feature is now available in the Facebook app, only without the message notifying users about Apple’s 30% fee.
Facebook reportedly intended to display a message on Android that said “Facebook does not charge a fee for this purchase,” but Reuters said the message does not appear in the version of Facebook currently available on the Google Play Store.
Facebook said in a statement, that now more than ever, we should have the option to help people understand where the money they intend for small businesses is really going. Unfortunately, the apple company rejected our 30% tax transparency notice, but we are still working to make that information available within the app experience.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
Nothing about Apple’s actions is new here: The company has been consistent in preventing other apps like Netflix and Spotify from discussing App Store policies, like explaining that users can pay for their services over the web without Apple make a cutout.
What’s different in this case is that by previewing the message before submitting it to Apple’s App Store review process, Facebook is clearly looking to drive the debate on how Apple controls apps on its iOS platform. , at a time when Apple is already facing antitrust lawsuits. and government investigations into alleged anti-competitive actions.
One particularly vocal critic has been Fortnite creator Epic Games, who has repeatedly referred to the App Store as a monopoly. Earlier this month, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after Epic Games introduced a direct in-app payment option for its in-game currency, violating App Store rules. In a seemingly orchestrated move, Epic Games quickly filed a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of anti-competitive behavior.
Since then, Spotify and Microsoft have sided with Epic on the issue, and Facebook’s latest action suggests they have chosen another ally in the growing controversy over Apple’s App Store policies.