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Facebook says Apple didn’t let it tell users about App Store tax

Facebook claims Apple made it remove a note that informed users paying for an online event on iOS about the mandatory 30% App Store tax, Reuters reports.

While announcing its new paid online events feature, Facebook committed to a zero-fee policy allowing small businesses and creators to keep 100% of the revenue they generate — except for if the user is paying on an iOS app. There, due to Apple’s mandatory in-app purchase tax, the social network said it planned to label online event ticket purchases with a message that read: “Apple takes 30% of this purchase.” On Android, the note says: “Facebook doesn’t take a fee from this purchase.”

However, Apple has reportedly refused to approve this action, and forced Facebook to drop it in order to get the app update pass through the iPhone maker’s review process. On the web and its Android app, Facebook is not collecting any fees from paid online events for at least the next year.

Facebook says Apple has cited an App Store rule that restricts developers from displaying “irrelevant” information on their apps.

Under Section 2.3.10 of its App Store Guidelines, Apple bars developers from including “irrelevant information, including but not limited to information about Apple or the development process.”

“Now more than ever, we should have the option to help people understand where money they intend for small businesses actually goes,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to Digital Trends. “Unfortunately Apple rejected our transparency notice around their 30% tax but we are still working to make that information available inside the app experience.”

We’ve reached out to Apple for confirmation and we’ll update the story when we hear back.

Earlier this month, when Facebook rolled out the ability for businesses to charge for online events, the social network also called out Apple’s draconian App Store policies in its press release. Facebook said Apple had rejected all of its requests to reduce the 30% App Store tax or allow the company to offer its in-house payments system, Facebook Pay so that it could “absorb all costs for businesses struggling during COVID-19.”

This is the second time in a month Facebook has found itself at odds with Apple’s developer team. A couple of weeks ago, the social network slammed Apple for making it drop a key component of its latest Gaming app.

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Shubham Agarwal
Shubham Agarwal is a freelance technology journalist from Ahmedabad, India. His work has previously appeared in Firstpost…
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