Airbnb, ClassPass Speak Out Against App Store’s 30 Percent Commission

Apple is reportedly demanding a commission on sales of virtual, online classes sold by Airbnb and ClassPass.

When the coronavirus forced Airbnb and ClassPass to adapt, their new strategy marked them as digital content, causing Apple to prompting commissions, explains a New York Times report.

ClassPass is an application that helps users book exercise classes at local gyms. When gyms had to shut down due to the pandemic, the company shifted its model and started offering virtual classes. Similarly, Airbnb started offering virtual experiences like cooking classes, meditation sessions, and drag queen shows.

“With gyms shut down, ClassPass dropped its typical commission on virtual classes, passing along 100 percent of sales to gyms, the person close to the company said. That meant Apple would have taken its cut from hundreds of struggling independent fitness centers, yoga studios and boxing gyms,” reads the report.

Both companies received messages from Apple saying it would collect its 30 percent App Store fee because of this virtual content. In response, ClassPass stopped offering virtual classes.

Like ClassPass, Airbnb says it has “experienced similar demands” after it began to sell online experiences like virtual cooking classes. The report says that both companies have spoken with House lawmakers taking part in an antitrust investigation into Apple over its App Store rules.