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Apple allows Amazon Prime to use in-app payments without 30% cut

Apple users were previously redirected to Amazon's website to make payments for Amazon Prime content.

  • Published: April 2, 2020 12:27 PM IST
Amazon Prime on Apple TV

Amazon recently started allowing iPhone and Apple TV users to make in-app purchases and rent movies and shows from Amazon Prime. The in-app payment feature now comes to iOS users in the US, UK, and Germany. Previously, Prime users were forcibly directed to a browser page where users would pay via Amazon’s website. Also Read - Inbase Urban Fit review: This Apple Watch lookalike is decent for its price

The move is also a change for Apple devices, which will now allow Amazon to use its own payment system. People using iPhones, iPads and even iPod touches began seeing the change on Wednesday. Apple TV users also began seeing the change. A message from Amazon itself alerted users of the addition of an in-app payment portal. “Browse, rent, or buy new release movies, popular TV shows, and more – now within the app,” it read. Also Read - Apple iPhone 11, iPhone XR and iPhone 7 get price hike in India: Here's how much they cost now

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Before the change, iOS users had to either go to the Amazon website to pay for a movie. Alternatively, they would have to purchase the content on an Android device or Amazon’s Fire TV. On the other hand, when users purchase in-app content on iOS using Apple’s payment portal, they pay Apple a 30 percent commission. However, allowing Amazon to use its own payment portal means the brand doesn’t have to pay Apple the commission. Also Read - Apple acquires weather app Dark Sky, to shut Android version

Apple’s 30 percent commission

There have been many apps that have complained against Apple’s 30 percent policy. For instance, Spotify even filed a complaint with the European regulators about the charge. The music streaming site called the 30 percent fee a tax. It even added saying that the app would be forced to artificially inflate its prices as a result of the fee.

“Apple requires that Spotify and other digital services pay a 30% tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system, including upgrading from our free to our premium service,” said Daniel Ek, Spotify co-founder, and chief executive, in a blog post.

“If we pay this tax, it would force us to artificially inflate the price of our premium membership well above the price of Apple Music. And to keep our price competitive for our customers, that isn’t something we can do,” he added. Apple responded by saying that it makes exceptions for “qualifying premium video entertainment apps”. Those apps include Prime Video, Atlice One and Canal+.

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  • Published Date: April 2, 2020 12:27 PM IST