Technology

This is the excuse Apple gave Facebook for blocking its “App Store tax” warning

It would appear that Apple and Facebook’s battle over in-app sales fees has escalated a bit this week. A Facebook representative spoke with the press on Thursday, suggesting that Apple “rejected its attempt to tell users” that Apple would be taking a 30% cut of fees in Facebook’s latest online event feature. The event feature was, as Facebook puts it, made to allow creators to make money to “offset revenue lost” during this year’s unprecedented global pandemic.

According to Reuters, a Facebook representative said that “now more than ever, we should have the option to help people understand where money they intend for small businesses actually goes.”

“Unfortunately Apple rejected our transparency notice around their 30% tax,” said the Facebook representative, “but we are still working to make that information available inside the app experience.” This Facebook representative said that their “tool” would allow “online influencers and other businesses” to host paid events, and that they’d asked Apple to waive their customary 30% cut of in-app purchase revenue “so Facebook could pass on all of the events revenue to business owners.”

Facebook suggested that Apple cited an App Store rule which bars developers from sharing certain information with app users. The rule, guideline 2.3.10, says: “Don’t include irrelevant information, including but not limited to information about Apple or the development process.” You can see more App Store Review Guidelines via Apple’s public App Store Review Guidelines listing.

Facebook is not alone in this effort to rally against Apple’s so-called “App Store Tax.” Facebook also planned on including a similar message for the Android experience, but that message was not included in Facebook’s release on Thursday either. It was not immediately apparent why Facebook released commentary on the Apple side of the situation, but no such commentary on Google’s angle.

Facebook also released a note about how Apple’s iOS 14 is screwing up Facebook’s ad business. Facebook suggested that iOS 14 for iPhone would “severely impact” its advertising business. Facebook said that the new iPhone software would be directly to blame for its “limited” ability to target ads.

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