The Strategist

Facebook criticizes Apple for 'damaging' fees for SMEs

08/17/2020 - 10:26

Facebook said Apple is hurting small businesses by charging a 30% commission on in-app purchases. The criticism from Zuckerberg's company came after Apple removed the Fortnite game from the app store. Telegram founder Pavel Durov earlier called Apple commissions "digital slavery".

Facebook has joined a growing list of companies publicly criticizing Apple for the 30% commission for iOS app developers, Bloomberg reported. The social network believes that maintaining such a policy during the coronavirus pandemic is detrimental to small businesses, the agency said.

Last Friday, August 14, Facebook launched a paid online event service in 20 countries. It allows entrepreneurs to sell access to webinars and other information products.

The company hoped that Apple would remove its fees for payments within iOS apps and allow Facebook to use its own payment service. Facebook argued its position by the fact that this would cover all the costs of enterprises suffering from the pandemic. However, Apple refused to make concessions. “Unfortunately, they turned down our requests and SMEs will only be paid 70% of their hard-earned income,” Facebook said (quoted from TechCrunch).

Google also did not remove the commission, but allowed Facebook to use its payment service, Facebook application manager told Bloomberg. According to her, Facebook will not receive income from this. “Helping small businesses recover from the coronavirus is a critical thing that all tech companies need to help with,” the manager said. She added that Facebook expects other IT companies to join its idea. Apple did not respond to a request from journalists, the agency said.

Facebook's complaints preceded Apple's decision to remove the popular game Fortnite from the App Store. Apple did so after game developer Epic Games added the ability to buy premium currency to the app by bypassing the App Store. A similar situation with Fortnite happened on Google Play. In turn, Epic Games has filed a lawsuit against both companies.