Airbnb and ClassPass are the latest companies to express concerns over Apple’s 30% App Store fee after shifting to virtual content (via NYT).
ClassPass helps people book exercise classes at local gyms. When gyms had to shut down due to the pandemic, the company started offering virtual classes. Similarly, Airbnb started offering virtual experiences like cooking classes, meditation sessions, and drag queen shows.
Airbnb is still negotiating with Apple. In June, Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s chief executive, said that the online experiences offering was the company’s “fastest growing product ever” and had earned $1 million in revenue. Apple said that if the two companies could not come to terms, it could remove Airbnb’s app from the App Store.
Both companies received messages from Apple saying it would collect its 30% App Store fee because of this virtual content. In response, ClassPass stopped offering virtual classes while Airbnb is still in negotiations with Apple. The two have also spoken to House lawmakers investigation Apple over antitrust issues.