Elon Musk reaches out to Tim Cook for ''Apple tax''

Emre Çitak
Aug 3, 2023
Apple, Twitter

In a recent post on Twitter, billionaire Elon Musk reignited the debate over the controversial "Apple tax" by expressing his intention to speak with Apple's CEO, Tim Cook. The discussion revolves around the 30 percent commission that Apple currently charges on all in-app purchases made on its iOS platform, including subscriptions sold by creators on Twitter or "X".

Musk proposes an adjustment to this policy, suggesting that Apple should only take a 30 percent cut on the portion of the payout retained by Twitter, rather than the total fee earned by creators. This move, according to Musk, would reduce Apple's share and give creators more control over their earnings.

See the tweet by Elon Musk below.

Apple's ongoing tax controversy

The issue of the ''Apple tax'' has been a contentious topic for some time. Musk, who has been a vocal critic of this policy, views it as a "hidden 30% tax on the Internet".

His dissatisfaction led him to postpone the release of Twitter Blue on iOS to avoid paying the fees. However, he did acknowledge that after discussing the matter with Cook at Apple's headquarters, there might have been some misunderstanding about the situation. Nevertheless, the latest call to action by Musk signals his continued determination to address the issue.

Elon Musk Apple tax Tim Cook
Apple tax has been bothering app developers for a long time

Musk's proposal

Elon Musk's proposal centers on altering the way Apple collects fees from Twitter or "X" creators. He suggests that for creators earning less than $100,000, Twitter should refrain from collecting any fees.

Once a creator's earnings exceed the $100,000 threshold, Twitter would then collect a 10 percent commission. Under this model, Musk emphasizes that the first 12 months would remain fee-free for all creators, providing an opportunity for them to establish their presence and audience on the platform.

Apple's current stand

Apple's stance on its in-app purchase fees has been a subject of scrutiny in the tech industry. While the company has faced opposition from companies like Epic Games and Spotify over the 30 percent commission, it has remained steadfast in its policies.

In some cases, Apple has made exceptions for certain apps, such as Netflix, Spotify, and Kindle, allowing them to link to external websites for user account creation. However, these exemptions often followed legal challenges and regulatory investigations.


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