South Korea to Curb Google, Apple Commission Dominance

Published August 25th, 2021 - 11:00 GMT
South Korea to Curb Google, Apple Commission Dominance
Apple Inc and Google demand software developers using their app stores to use proprietary payment systems that charge commissions of up to 30%. (Shutterstock)

A South Korean parliamentary committee voted on Wednesday to recommend amending a law, a major step toward banning Google and Apple from forcibly charging software developers commissions on in-app purchases. This move is considered the first curb by a key economy.

Apple Inc and Google demand software developers using their app stores to use proprietary payment systems that charge commissions of up to 30%.

In response to this bill, Apple and Google raised their concerns in statements. On Tuesday, Apple said the bill “will put users who purchase digital goods from other sources at risk of fraud, undermine their privacy protections,” hurt user trust in App Store purchases and lead to fewer opportunities for South Korean developers.

While Wilson White, senior director of public policy at Google, said “the rushed process hasn’t allowed for enough analysis of the negative impact of this legislation on Korean consumers and app developers.”

Based on the parliament records, the amendment bans app store operators with dominant market positions from forcing payment systems on content providers and “inappropriately” delaying the review of, or deleting, mobile contents from app markets.

It also allows the South Korean government to require an app market operator to “prevent damage to users and protect the rights and interests of users,” probe app market operators, and mediate disputes regarding payment, cancellations or refunds in the app market.


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