Apple forces Facebook to remove message that mentioned its 30% App Store fee

Facebook (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Facebook announced a new paid online events feature earlier in August.
  • Apple has rejected a message in the app which told customers about Apple's 30% rate of commission.
  • It was forced to remove the message because Apple said it contained "irrelevant" information.

Facebook says it was forced by Apple to remove a message in its app which told customers about Apple's 30% cut of online sales for its new events feature.

According to Reuters:

Facebook Inc on Thursday told Reuters that Apple Inc rejected its attempt to tell users the iPhone maker would take a 30% cut of sales in a new online events feature, forcing Facebook to remove the message to get the tool to users.

Earlier this month Facebook announced new paid online events to help businesses support themselves through the COVID-19 pandemic by selling tickets to virtual events. From that report:

In a news announcement Friday Facebook stated:Today we're launching the ability for businesses, creators, educators and media publishers to earn money from online events on Facebook. Now Page owners can create an online event, set a price, promote the event, collect payment and host the event, all in one place.

When the new feature was announced, Facebook was highly critical of Apple's 30% "App Store tax" stating:

"We asked Apple to reduce its 30% App Store tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay so we could absorb all costs for businesses struggling during COVID-19. Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests and SMBs will only be paid 70% of their hard-earned revenue."

A message in the app to this effect was met with swift rejection from Apple because of an App Store rule that says developers can't show "irrelevant" information. In a statement Facebook said:

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

As you can see from the image below, Facebook's mock-up of the app when announced showed a message stating "Apple takes 30% of this purchase." Upon release, the message had been removed.


Facebook (Image credit: Facebook)

Facebook is one of several companies that have publicly, vocally decried Apple's App Store policies including the 30% commission rate it takes on sales made through apps. Apple is currently being sued by Fortnite-maker Epic Games over this exact issue.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9