Facebook says Apple in-app fees hurt businesses during Covid
Facebook Inc joined a growing list of developers to publicly criticize Apple Inc. over its revenue-sharing policy for in-app purchases, suggesting the iPhone maker’s fee structure is hurting small businesses during a global pandemic.
The social network on Friday rolled out a paid events feature in 20 countries, offering businesses the ability to charge users for access to live video streams, like a yoga class or seminar. Facebook said that Apple didn’t agree to waive its usual 30% fee for all transactions that take place within apps on its devices, and won’t let Facebook process the payments using its own technology for iOS users.
Alphabet Inc.’s Google didn’t waive its 30% fee on its Android mobile operating system, either, though the internet search giant will let Facebook process payments through its own product to avoid those costs, said Fidji Simo, the executive running Facebook’s main app. Facebook won’t take a cut of revenue generated from the feature, she said.
“We went through our usual channels to suggest strongly to them to waive their fee or to let us use Facebook Pay — one of the two — and they declined,” Simo said about Apple in an interview. Simo called Apple an important partner, and said Facebook relies on Apple’s App Store to distribute its own apps, while noting the company disagrees with Apple’s revenue structure.
“Helping small businesses recover from Covid is a critical thing that all tech companies should help with,” she said. “The reason we’re calling them out here is we hope they join us and end up waving their fees, so that’s really the goal here.”
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