Facebook says Apple's 30% App Store fee hurts small businesses during COVID-19

in General Discussion edited August 2020
Facebook on Friday became the latest iOS developer to criticize Apple's 30% App Store commission on in-app purchases, stating that the cut hurts small businesses during the global pandemic.

Credit: AppleInsider
Credit: AppleInsider

The social media giant recently launched a new feature for its platform that allows businesses to charge users for live video streams, such as webinars or yoga classes. Facebook said that Apple refused to waive the 30% on those purchases, and won't allow Facebook to use its own payment system on iOS.

Facebook app executive Fidji Simo told Bloomberg that Google also refused to waive its 30% fee, but allowed the social media company to process payments through Facebook Pay.

"Helping small businesses recover from Covid is a critical thing that all tech companies should help with," Simo said. "The reason we're calling [Apple] out here is we hope they join us and end up waving their fees, so that's really the goal here."

She added that Facebook isn't taking any cut of purchases made through the new live webcast feature. In a blog post, she explains that the iOS version of Facebook will show a screenshot announcing Apple's commission. According to CNBC, Simo said that she's unsure whether the label will make it past Apple's app review process.

Simo said that Facebook would comply with Apple's App Store policies, noting that "when developers go circumvent the rules on alternative payment methods, it doesn't go well."

Facebook's criticism comes just a day after Epic Games -- creator of Fortnite -- filed a lawsuit against Apple accusing it of leveraging its market power in an anti-competitive manner.

Epic's lawsuit came less than an hour after Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store and coincided with the release of a video spoofing the company's "1984" Super Bowl ad. Earlier that day, Epic implemented a direct payment system to sidestep the 30% fee.

Apple takes a 15% to 30% commission on in-app purchases. Although platforms like the Google Play store take a similar cut, Apple's App Store policies have come under antitrust scrutiny in the U.S. and globally. Other developers such as ClassPass and Airbnb have also called out the fee.



  • Reply 1 of 44
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Screw ‘em. They can always lower or raise what they choose to charge customers. Apple will still get 30% of that.
  • Reply 2 of 44
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,279member
    Yup, it's time for the all the other scum-bag, dick wad CEO's to start jumping on the bandwagon of Apple is EVIL, after all, they need to support their brother's in arms, or maybe wallets...

    BTW, ArsTechnica just CRUSHED Epic in this article:


    Yeah, they totally have issue with paying the fees, uh huh...
  • Reply 3 of 44
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,268member
    Lots of multi-billion dollar, profit-at-any-cost companies talking about the 30% cut as if they’re looking out for small companies. What a pile of b/s.

    Small businesses and not-for-profits are enabled by the App Store, not hindered by it. 
    d.j. adequatemike1magman1979viclauyycBeatsbaconstangDogpersonfotoformatlolliverdocbburk
  • Reply 4 of 44
    Dishonest *ssh*les.

    They couldn't care less about the little guy, and are just going after storeowners because they feel that they have a chance of getting away with having clueless politicians strong-arm storeowners into having to do all the work and not get paid for it.
  • Reply 5 of 44
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,048member
    Facebook should be judging the entire retail industry then.  Last time I checked, Safeway and Costco also get a cut of sales of what vendors sell in their stores.

    d.j. adequatemagman1979viclauyycBeatspjwilkinDogpersonmwhiteGG1fotoformatlolliver
  • Reply 6 of 44
    Yeah, because FaceBook has a clear history of demonstrating its concern and empathy for others. What a joke. 
    edited August 2020 d.j. adequatemagman1979viclauyycBeatspjwilkinbaconstangDogpersonGG1fotoformatdocbburk
  • Reply 7 of 44
    Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Facebook is making me laugh pulling out all stops to criticize Apple.  To me, Facebook is totally useless as a company.  If it completely disappeared tomorrow, I wouldn't blink an eye.  If people want to socialize, they should go out and mingle in person.  Most people shouldn't have to do it on the internet.
  • Reply 8 of 44
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,178member
    Yup, it's time for the all the other scum-bag, dick wad CEO's to start jumping on the bandwagon of Apple is EVIL, after all, they need to support their brother's in arms, or maybe wallets...

    BTW, ArsTechnica just CRUSHED Epic in this article:


    Yeah, they totally have issue with paying the fees, uh huh...

    It was an excellent piece. Thanks for the link.
  • Reply 9 of 44
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 1,042member
    Bullshit. It’s an online—ONLINE store. People are working from home and ordering everything ONLINE. Sounds really desperate. 
  • Reply 10 of 44
    Facebook doesn’t care. They don’t have a store but they are making money off the users by monitoring them and selling their habits and such. 

    Although 30% seems high, it has become a de facto industry standard. 

    I think it is like a toll bridge. You have the choice to go around on another path but if you choose this one you pay to go over that bridge regardless of reason, that bridge needs to be maintained, lights need to be powered and it needs to be policed. That costs money. 

    Apps need to be vetted for safety, data storage, bandwidth, credit card servicing fees, the people to program and maintain all these functions. It also is not free. 

    Apple or other companies would not be able to have a glimmer of a guarantee of safety with the apps they download if from all over the place on different stores as there would be many potential hands in this cookie jar. 
  • Reply 11 of 44
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Big company says paying their fees hurt small companies.
  • Reply 12 of 44
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,398member
    Dear Facebook, it's worth remembering that you are the number 1 cause for poor productivity in most companies since so many office workers spend so long on there instead of working.

    If you don't like the fees, don't use the platform. No one is forcing you, there are other options. 
  • Reply 13 of 44
    Facebook can just implement their new features in their website, and everyone can access it in a browser. Simple.
  • Reply 14 of 44
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 1,006member
    Nobody is at a competitive disadvantage if they get charged the same and can control how much they charge for their product.

    of course, we’re talking about the American public and the politicians. 

    PT Barnum was wrong. You can fool all of the people all of the time. 
  • Reply 15 of 44
    yeah, right. facebook cares. 
  • Reply 16 of 44
    That was worth a laugh from Facebook 😂 the most shady and hypocritical big tech company since Microsoft. 
  • Reply 17 of 44
    hahaha, said by a company whose success was built on the basis of stealing customers' data then selling them. No other tech company is more evil than Facebook. 
    edited August 2020 Dogpersonsvanstromlolliverrobin hubermacseekerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 44
    How hypocrite of FB, sure they can lower the tariff to just a few percent, they do not need to provide anything other than the transaction. They do not need to provide the small indi developer with all the hosting infrastructure or the 1 PB of iCloud storage developers can use iN their apps ... sure ...  It’s shameful and I think it’s time to unwind all the purchases FB has done in the past, because they now control to much social media landscape. 
  • Reply 19 of 44
    At least MS has a product to sell....FB has none so it needs a flat form to ride
  • Reply 20 of 44
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,473member
    They should donate any revenue they make to the businesses they are so worried about. If they believe the fee hurts the business they want to help, they should pay the fee for them. They are going to make advertising money from the users anyway. 

    robin huberwatto_cobra
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