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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Apple Raps Meta For Taking 50% Cut On Virtual Sales Developers

Apple has attacked Facebook parent company Meta this week, slamming it for hypocrisy as Meta takes nearly 50% cut of virtual sales from developers, Ben Gilbert reported for Business Insider.

Photo Insert: Apple CEO Tim Cook disagrees with the foundational business model of Meta.

The two tech giants are fighting over who treats developers worse in a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. Apple said Meta wants a 50% cut from some developers selling digital goods on its "metaverse" platform, Horizon Worlds, and told MarketWatch the move "lays bare Meta's hypocrisy."

Apple and Meta have been arguing about the cut taken from digital platforms for months — part of a years-long feud between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

On its App Store, Apple takes a 30% cut from sales. That includes sales within apps, which impacts Meta's bottom line across the family of apps it operates (Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp).

Meta has repeatedly pushed back on this policy, and even supported a lawsuit from "Fortnite" maker Epic Games against Apple that sought to end it. Zuckerberg himself reportedly said the policy, "allows Apple to charge monopoly rents" on app maker revenues.

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Now, Meta is imposing its own fees on the sales of digital goods on its platform — as much as 47.5% in some cases — and Apple is calling it out. "Meta has repeatedly taken aim at Apple for charging developers a 30% commission for in-app purchases in the App Store," Apple representative Fred Sainz told MarketWatch.

"Meta seeks to charge those same creators significantly more than any other platform."

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Notably, Meta is charging separate fees for revenue generated on its virtual reality headset, the Meta Quest, and within its metaverse platform, Horizon Worlds. Meta's virtual reality headset, which was formerly known as the Oculus Quest 2, is now known as the Meta Quest.

The only creators who will face a 47.5% fee are creators who sell digital goods within Horizon Worlds on the Meta Quest platform. That's because Meta charges a 30% sales fee for goods sold on the Meta Quest store and, out of the remaining proceeds, the creator pays another 25% fee for goods sold through Horizon Worlds.

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At the heart of the argument is a disagreement that Apple's Cook and Meta's Zuckerberg have repeatedly clashed on over the years: Cook disagrees with the foundational business model of Meta, which trades free access to popular services like Facebook and Instagram for user data that's used to sell targeted advertising.

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