Apple will temporarily stop taking a 30 percent cut on Facebook event fees

Earlier this year, Facebook launched a new feature that let small businesses create paid online events. The company framed it as a way of helping organizations struggling with lost revenue during the pandemic, and said that because of the exceptional circumstances, it would not collect any fees on purchases for these events until August 2021.

But the social network also stressed that any payments made on iOS would be subject to Apple’s standard 30 percent platform fees, noting this meant less money for small businesses. As Fidji Simo, head of Facebook’s main app, said at the time: “We asked Apple to reduce its 30% App Store tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay so we could absorb all costs for businesses struggling during COVID-19. Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests and [small businesses] will only be paid 70% of their hard-earned revenue.”

Facebook’s framing of this policy as Apple vs the little guy seems to have worked, and the social network now says Apple will let it process payments for online events using Facebook Pay. That means no 30 percent fee for Apple and more money for businesses, at least in the short term. Facebook says all businesses are eligible except Facebook Gaming creators and that the policy will also only last until the end of 2020.

Apple confirmed the news to The Verge and said that collecting a fee from apps offering services that take place outside the app itself is a long-held App Store policy. Since the pandemic hit and more businesses have started selling virtual events, the iPhone maker has had similar disagreements with other firms. Facebook is not the first company it’s waived fees for until the end of the year, and Apple says

Apple Temporarily Waives 30% Fee for Facebook Paid Live Events, but Not for Gaming Creators

In an unusual move, Apple has agreed to not collect the App Store’s 30% “tax” on purchases made through Facebook’s app for live paid events — but only through the end of 2020. Moreover, Apple will still take a 30% cut of paid livestreams from video-game  creators using the paid-livestream feature.

The ongoing clash of tech titans is the latest in the public fight some app developers are waging against Apple over its App Store business practices, which they say are unfair.

Facebook complained that Apple agreed only to a short moratorium on collecting in-app fees for paid live events, which it launched last month. For its part, Facebook says it won’t take a cut of creators or businesses’ revenue for livestreaming events until at least August 2021, citing economic hardships inflicted by the COVD 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,” Facebook spokesman Joe Osborne said.

Asked for comment, an Apple spokesman said, “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.”

According to Apple, it has given Facebook as well as ClassPass and Airbnb until the end of 2020 to implement in-app purchase for in-person businesses using their paid online events feature.

Meanwhile, the social giant was forced to make a concession to exclude gaming streamers to obtain the “temporary reprieve for other businesses” from Apple, according to Facebook Gaming VP Vivek Sharma.

“Apple’s decision to not collect its 30% tax on paid online events comes with a