Apple Won’t Collect Fees from Facebook and Other Companies for Paid Online Events until 2021

Apple and Facebook

Apple takes a 30% cut from developers for in-app purchases. The commission is also applicable to apps that offer paid online classes. Well, not anymore.

Facebook had recently started a service called Paid Events for individuals and small businesses, where the social media platform lets these people to hold paid online classes. Paid Events are supposed to help small businesses earn money during this pandemic where physical classes are almost non-existent.

However, since Paid Events sells digital goods (paid online classes), it attracts a 30% commission on the App Store. And Facebook had accused Apple that the Cupertino-based tech giant is hurting small businesses by taking a 30% cut. Well, Apple has listened to the criticism and today it has announced that the brand will waive off the 30% commission on Facebook’s Paid Events through the end of this year.

What is even interesting is that Apple has decided not to take the 30%  commission from sales of online classes from any apps on the App Store, including ClassPass and Airbnb.

According to Apple, it has taken this step to give companies more time to adapt to digital business models. However, Apple will start taking the standard 30% commission starting from 2021.

Facebook also charges its own fee on Paid Events. However, the social media platform has waived off the fee until August 2021. Now that neither Apple nor Facebook are taking any cut from purchases made for Paid Events, small business owners who have been organizing these online classes can take the full amount of money paid by the customer for the service.

Even though Apple has waived off the 30% commission from Paid Events, Facebook is unhappy that the same rule is not applicable to games. In Apple’s defense, the brand says that gaming businesses have always been digital-only and have not been affected by the global health crisis.

According to a Facebook spokesperson, “This is a difficult time for small businesses and creators, which is why we are not collecting any fees from paid online events while communities remain closed for the pandemic. Apple has agreed to provide a brief, three-month respite after which struggling businesses will have to, yet again, pay Apple the full 30% App Store tax.”

Apple has issued a statement today reiterating its stance on equality for all developers. The statement reads “The ‌App Store‌ provides a great business opportunity for all developers, who use it to reach half a billion visitors each week across 175 countries. To ensure every developer can create and grow a successful business, Apple maintains a clear, consistent set of guidelines that apply equally to everyone.”

Our Take

Up until now, Apple had not granted special permission to any app to ensure that all developers are treated equally. However, it is good to see Apple changing its course after all the criticism and it is a good move that will help a lot of independent professionals during this pandemic.

[Source: MacRumors]