Facebook gets exemptions from Apple app store payments restrictions

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Facebook said that businesses running paid online events on its iOS app would not need to pay a 30 percent fee to Apple for the remainder of 2020, temporarily defusing a standoff between the two tech giants.

 

The social media company said in a blog post that all businesses except gaming creators would be eligible for Apple’s fee exemption and can process payments for the online events they run through Facebook Pay.

“Apple has agreed to provide a brief, a three-month respite after which struggling businesses will have to, yet again, pay Apple the full 30 percent App Store tax,” Facebook company spokesman Joe Osborne said in a statement.

Facebook said it will not charge fees of its own for online events while businesses remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, through at least August 2021.

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Apple said Friday that such online events have always been subject to its in-app payment rules, which charge commissions between 15 percent and 30 percent of the purchase price of paid online events.

Apple said it has given businesses affected by the pandemic more time to implement the system and that Facebook is getting the same exemption until year’s end it has given ClassPass and Airbnb.

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Gaming creators will not receive the exemption because the service was launched in early 2018 and it is not a physical business affected by the pandemic, Apple said.

“Apple maintains a clear, consistent set of guidelines that apply equally to everyone,” Apple said in a statement.

Facebook challenged Apple’s rules last month, attempting to tell users in an app update that the iPhone maker would take a cut of sales for new online events feature, but later removed the message after Apple rejected the update.

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