Apple blocked Facebook's attempt to flag App Store 'tax'

A shadowy figure using a smartphone in front of the Facebook logo

Facebook has accused Apple of forcing it to remove a message from its iPhone app that informed users about the company's mandatory 30% App Store "tax".

Facebook recently announced plans to release a new tool that would let online influencers and small businesses host paid online events as a way to offset revenue lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, Facebook said it would allow creators to keep 100% of the revenue they generate - unless the user is paying using an iOS app.

Due to Apple’s in-app purchase fees, which the company allegedly refused to waive despite Facebook's pleas, the social network said it planned to label online event ticket purchases with a message that read: “Apple takes 30% of this purchase."

However, Facebook told Reuters this week that Apple blocked it from pushing out this message on the basis of it being "irrelevant" information.

“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.

“Unfortunately Apple rejected our transparency notice around their 30% tax but we are still working to make that information available inside the app experience.”

Facebook isn't the only company to have recently called out Apple's 30% fee on in-app purchases, as the company is currently embroiled in a legal row with Fortnite creator Epic Games over the same issue.

The developer attempted to bypass Apple's proprietary payment system by announcing a 20% discount to users who purchase the game’s virtual currency directly from Epic, which prompted Apple to remove the game from the App Store. It also

In response, Epic filed a lawsuit against Apple and released a video lambasting the company's decision based on its own classic 1984-themed advertisement.

Carly Page

Carly Page is a freelance technology journalist, editor and copywriter specialising in cyber security, B2B, and consumer technology. She has more than a decade of experience in the industry and has written for a range of publications including Forbes, IT Pro, the Metro, TechRadar, TechCrunch, TES, and WIRED, as well as offering copywriting and consultancy services. 

Prior to entering the weird and wonderful world of freelance journalism, Carly served as editor of tech tabloid The INQUIRER from 2012 and 2019. She is also a graduate of the University of Lincoln, where she earned a degree in journalism.

You can check out Carly's ramblings (and her dog) on Twitter, or email her at