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Apple says reduction in App Store commission rate would impact bottom line

Credit: WikiCommons

Apple warned investors that changes to its App Store commission could hurt its bottom line in a regulatory filing that also highlighted the MacBook Pro as the primary driver of 2020 Mac sales.

Both tidbits were included in Apple's Form 10-K for its 2020 fiscal year. Form 10-K is a summary of a company's financial status that the Securities and Exchange Commission requires of companies that meet specific criteria.

Amid scrutiny of its 30% commission on in-app purchases and subscriptions, Apple cautioned investors in this year's 10-K that any changes to that cut could negatively impact its financial results.

"If the rate of the commission that the Company retains on such sales is reduced, or if it is otherwise narrowed in scope or eliminated, the Company's financial condition and operating results could be materially adversely affected," Apple wrote in the filing.

Apple has come under fire from from antitrust regulators, lawmakers, and developers for imposing a 30% cut on App Store sales. Some of the most notable critics include Microsoft, Facebook, and Epic Games.

The filing also reveals that Apple has indeed seen tailwinds from new work-at-home and remote learning trends during the coronavirus pandemic.

Net sales of MacBook Pro models, for example, were highlighted at the primary reason for an overall uptick in Mac sales throughout 2020. Sales of iPads were also up, and attributed to 10-inch versions of the iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Pro.

Beyond the details about the App Store commission and Mac and iPad sales, most other data in the filing appeared routine. Taxes were nominal, and was only a typical increase in Apple's research and development spending.