It's no longer just Apple vs. Epic Games: Now Facebook is seeking to force a face-off over the 30% in-app purchase commission fee, reports Axios' Sara Fischer.
Between the lines: Facebook is trying to position itself as friendlier to small businesses than Apple, which also faces a lawsuit from Fortnite maker Epic Games over its commission and in-app payment restrictions.
- Facebook said today that it will launch "Paid Online Events" for small businesses in 20 countries around the world to charge Facebook users to attend their classes, instructions and other events.
- The feature could be useful for any small business or individual offering a service, such a preacher, musician, yoga teacher or cooking instructor.
- Facebook asked Apple to either waive its 30% cut or let Facebook go around it and process event payments via Facebook Pay, in either case letting event hosts keep all the revenue they generate.
- Apple declined, according to Facebook.
The big picture: Facebook and Apple are strategic partners. Both companies face antitrust scrutiny, which in Apple's case has centered on the very fee structure Facebook is now attacking.
The bottom line: Although this is Facebook's biggest assault on Apple yet, the two companies have sparred before.
- Apple spent months rejecting iterations of Facebook's new gaming app before finally allowing it to publish a watered-down version to the App Store last week that only lets users stream and discuss games, not play them in-app.
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