Epic is no longer alone in its war against the “Apple tax”. By banning its flagship game from iOS Fortnite, for trying to hijack the system whereby Apple receives 30% of revenue from purchases made in iPhone and iPad apps, the video game publisher has aroused the frustrations of dozens of companies.
Latest: Facebook. The web giant, which had previously criticized Apple's commissions, attempted to explain this commission system to its users in an update to its app. Facebook wanted to add a feature to buy tickets for an event (such as an online cooking class, for example) directly within the app. Below the buy button, the social network planned to write: “Apple takes a 30% commission on this purchase. “
Not quite to Apple's liking, which declined to roll out this update until the text was removed. Facebook had to comply: There is no trace of this message in the latest update of the Facebook app for iOS, reports the Reuters news agency.
In its defense, Apple recalled that its app store rules prohibit developers from showing information ” off topic “ to users. As recalled The Verge, “Apple has been very strict in the past about apps that try to explain App Store policies. Apps like Netflix, Kindle and Spotify, for example, are not allowed to mention that users could pay on the web versions without Apple taking a commission let alone putting a link for it. “
A wider battle
On August 14, Facebook had already publicly attacked Apple, revealing that the apple company had refused to purely and simply remove its commission collected on purchases linked to Facebook events: which could have allowed the organizers of such events to recover all income on purchases within iOS applications.
With this new setback, the biggest social network in the world has obviously not said its last word, communicating on the subject. “More than ever, we should have the ability to help people understand where the money they plan to give to small businesses is really going, assures Facebook in a statement sent to Reuters. Unfortunately, Apple rejected our transparency announcement around their 30% tax, but we continue to work to make this information available within the app. ”
This is not the first clash between the two giants of Silicon Valley. In March 2018, in the midst of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Tim Cook attacked Facebook and its business model, which relies on the exploitation of its users' personal information for advertising purposes. Since then, relations with Mark Zuckerberg have not been very good.
In mid-August, Facebook had also quickly pounced on the Epic controversy to join the protest movement against Apple and its tax. Opposite, Apple is no exception and regularly attacks Facebook's business model. The next update of its mobile operating system (iOS 14), aimed at protecting users' privacy, will give them more control options to refuse that Facebook can collect data from their iPhones – this in particular through advertisements that Facebook distributes or generates through numerous third-party applications using its software. An Apple update that Mark Zuckerberg's company has publicly regretted.