We reported on the 25th September 2020 that Apple had given in to the increasing pressure from the likes of Facebook to give small businesses a break from the 30% Apple Tax to help them move their business online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That exemption was meant to end in December 2020, with Apple then saying:

“This is a difficult time for small businesses and creators, which is why we are not collecting any fees from paid online events while communities remain closed for the pandemic. Apple has agreed to provide a brief, three-month respite after which struggling businesses will have to, yet again, pay Apple the full 30% App Store tax.”

Following the worsening of the pandemic however, Apple extended their exemption towards small businesses to June 30th, saying:

As the world fights COVID-19, we recognize that adapting experiences from in-person to digital continues to be a top priority. Although apps are required to offer any paid online group event experiences (one-to-few and one-to-many realtime experiences) through in-app purchase in accordance with App Store Review guideline 3.1.1, we temporarily deferred this requirement with an original deadline of December 2020. To allow additional time for developing in-app purchase solutions, this deadline has been extended to June 30, 2021.

Now Apple has once again extended the exemption, all the way to the 31st December 2021, saying:

Last year, to support apps that adapted services from in-person to digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily deferred the requirement to offer paid online group event services (one-to-few and one-to-many realtime services) through in-app purchase in accordance with App Store Review Guideline 3.1.1. As the world continues to recover from the pandemic, we’d like to support the communities that are still providing digital services in place of in-person group events by extending the deadline further to December 31, 2021.

As a reminder, guideline 3.1.3(d) allows apps offering realtime person-to-person services between two individuals (for example, tutoring students, medical consultations, real estate tours, or fitness training) to use purchase methods other than in-app purchase.

The development will come as good news to small businesses that are just starting to recover from the economic impact of the second large COVID-19 wave.

via The Verge

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