Apple drops its App Store fee for events forced online by the pandemic

Apple is waiving the customary 30% fee it charges businesses that sell tickets to online events in the company’s App Store for the rest of the year.

Apple suspended the fee to give businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic more time to adapt to operating almost entirely online, a spokesman told CNBC. App store developers such as Airbnb, the home-rental company, has expressed interest in holding more events online, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Earlier this week, Apple agreed to exempt Facebook events from the 30% fee. This summer, the social media company introduced paid online events as a way for small businesses to make some money. Facebook said it would not be taking a cut of event fees until August 2021. Apple’s suspension of its 30% fee means that sellers of online events will be able to keep all their earnings, minus taxes. 

Apple expanded the fee suspension on Friday to all developers in the interest of equal treatment, the company said in a statement.

“To ensure every developer can create and grow a successful business, Apple maintains a clear, consistent set of guidelines that apply equally to everyone,” a spokesman told the Wall Street Journal. 

Apple, Google remove Fortnite from app stores…


Many developers have complained about Apple’s fees and those charged by its competitor, Google. One email developer referred to the charge as a “ransom.” Apple takes a 30% cut for in-app purchases, purchases from the App Store and the first year of a subscription. The company maintains that the rate is in line with market prices.

Apple is in a legal battle with Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite, over the company’s App Store fee. Earlier this week, a group of developers formed the “Coalition for App Fairness” to push back against Apple’s store rules and demand fair treatment for smaller developers.

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