Elon Musk is back at it, urging Apple to adjust its 30 percent in-app purchase commission

Aug 2, 2023, 9:42 PM UTC
2 mins read
Elon Musk is back at it, urging Apple to adjust its 30 percent in-app purchase commission

Elon Musk has once again set his sights on Apple‘s 30 percent commission on in-app purchases. In a recent post, the billionaire entrepreneur declared his intention to discuss the matter with Apple CEO Tim Cook, seeking a potential adjustment to the controversial “Apple tax.” Musk’s call for change centers on a revised approach where Apple would only claim a 30 percent commission on the portion of revenue retained by the app developer, rather than the total transaction. This move comes after Twitter/X, a company Musk is closely associated with, announced adjustments to its commission structure for creators. But will Apple, known for its firm stance on the matter, bow down to the demands of the outspoken innovator?

At present, Apple holds a steadfast policy of charging a 30 percent cut on all in-app purchases made through its iOS platform, including subscriptions sold by content creators on Twitter/X and other applications. Musk’s argument against this practice draws parallels to a hidden tax on internet services, a sentiment he vocalized last year. The crux of his grievance lies in the belief that Apple should not claim a commission on the entire transaction value but rather only on the amount retained by the app provider.

As part of the larger discussion on in-app purchase policies, Musk shed light on Twitter/X’s adjustments to its commission structure. In a bid to foster a more creator-friendly environment, Twitter/X is moving away from the traditional 10 percent commission on subscription revenue after 12 months. Instead, they will now impose the 10 percent charge once the creators’ earnings exceed $100,000. During the initial 12 months, Twitter/X will not take any cuts from content creators, thereby offering an enticing proposition to attract more talent to their platform.

The current showdown is not the first time Elon Musk has locked horns with Apple over the “Apple tax.” Last year, when Twitter/X was gearing up to launch its premium service, Twitter Blue (now X Blue), Musk postponed its iOS debut to avoid the burden of Apple’s fees. He had then accused Apple of imposing an internet tax that hindered the growth of innovative services. Additionally, Musk had hinted at a possible threat by Apple to withhold Twitter/X from the App Store, though the situation was resolved after a meeting with Tim Cook at Apple’s headquarters.

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