Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Facebook Says Apple Blocked It From Informing About App Store 30% Fee

By Eric Volkman – Aug 28, 2020 at 3:55PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Facebook wanted to tell Apple device users that a new paid-online events feature in its app would incur the charge.

Facebook (META 2.16%) is accusing Apple (AAPL 3.08%) of effectively censoring a notice it tried to impart to its users. On Friday, the social media giant claimed that Apple rejected the inclusion of a warning that the latter company would take 30% of sales in a paid-online events feature Facebook is rolling out in an update of its app.

According to Facebook, Apple cited a provision in its App Store rule prohibiting developers from conveying "irrelevant" information.

Facebook was launching the feature within its latest update for its app on Apple's iOS mobile operating system. The feature allows users to create for-pay online events, and is intended to help businesses and people recoup some revenue lost from activities now limited by the coronavirus pandemic. According to Facebook, it asked Apple to waive its fee for these users, but the company refused.

Woman in protective mask using a smartphone.

Image source: Getty Images.

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

Reuters, which originally broke the story, said that Facebook had originally planned to publish a similar message for its update on Alphabet's Google Play store. That message did not appear in the update that ultimately appeared on the store. However, Facebook has not made any public statements about that situation, nor has Alphabet.

Similarly, Apple has not offered comment on Facebook's accusations.

In mid-afternoon trading on Friday, neither company was keeping pace with the gains of the broader stock market. Apple was a laggard with its modest 0.2% gain, while Facebook was trading down 0.4%.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Eric Volkman owns shares of Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Apple, and Facebook. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
$142.45 (3.08%) $4.25
Meta Platforms, Inc. Stock Quote
Meta Platforms, Inc.
$138.61 (2.16%) $2.93
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$98.64 (3.13%) $2.99
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$99.30 (3.28%) $3.15

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 10/03/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.