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FACEBOOK RAPS APPLE FOR REFUSING TO WAIVE FEES ON APPS

Facebook, Inc. said on Friday that Apple, Inc. had declined its request to waive a 30% commission fee the iPhone maker charges apps listed on iOS devices, taking a shot at its fellow Big Tech peer as developers challenge the policy, Katie Paul reported for Reuters on August 15, 2020.

The move is the latest salvo in a long-running cold war between two of the world’s most powerful tech companies, which have clashed over their approaches to user privacy as both face regulatory scrutiny over alleged anti-competitive behavior. Facebook said it requested the waiver so that small businesses would not have to pay Apple’s cut for a new paid online events product the world’s biggest social media company is launching on its core platform. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


On Thursday, Apple removed popular video game “Fortnite” from its app store for violating its in-app payment guidelines, sparking a backlash online and prompting developer Epic Games to file a federal antitrust lawsuit challenging Apple’s rules. Apple takes a cut of between 15% and 30% for most app subscriptions and payments made inside apps, though there are some exceptions for companies that already have a credit card on file for iPhone customers if they also offer an in-app payment that would benefit Apple.


Developers have long criticized the commissions, as well as Apple’s prohibitions on courting customers for outside sign-ups, and what some developers see as an opaque and unpredictable app-vetting process. A mock-up of the new events product on iPhone, provided by Facebook, showed that the company planned to tell users that Apple would take 30% of the purchase. Google also typically takes a 30% commission for payments within apps on its Android devices, although it was not immediately clear whether it would assess a charge in this case. In its Android mock-up, Facebook noted only that it would not take a fee, without disclosing its arrangement with Google.


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