Apple and Google to allow developers to use external payments under South Korean bill



South Korea’s National Assembly has approved a bill that will force Apple and Google to change how their payment systems work in app stores around the country.

The bill is currently waiting to be signed by South Korean President Moon Jae-In before entering into force.

The new law is an amendment to South Korea’s Telecommunications Act and will prohibit app marketplaces from unreasonably delaying approval of apps or removing them from the marketplace.

The bill will also prohibit app marketplaces from forcing developers to use their integrated purchasing systems, with South Korean developers now able to choose alternatives or create their own markets while still being allowed to operate in stores. existing applications.

Companies that fail to comply with the new laws could be fined up to 3% of their revenue in South Korea by the country’s media watchdog, the Korea Communications Commission.

The new law marks the first time a government has addressed competition concerns in the app payments market. Outside of South Korea, the Australian consumer watchdog is investigating whether the app stores of major vendors such as Apple and Google are anti-competitive as part of its digital platforms investigation.

In response to the new amendment, Google said its app-based payment processing model “keeps device costs low for consumers and enables platforms and developers to be financially successful.”

“Just as it costs developers money to build an app, it costs us money to build and maintain an operating system and app store. We will consider how to comply with this law while maintaining a model that supports a high quality operating system. and the App Store, and we’ll share more in the coming weeks, ”a Google spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

At the time of writing, Apple has not responded to ZDNet’s request for comment.

The legislative changes come despite the fact that Apple and Google have made various changes to their app store policies over the past year in attempts to quell competition concerns. In March, Google announced that it would reduce its current commission fee from 30% to 15% for all in-app purchases, with the reduced fee expected to apply in March 2022.

Apple, meanwhile, agreed to a class-action settlement last week to allow app developers to implement payment systems outside of the App Store and temporarily cut commission fees in half. it receives developers who earn less than a million dollars in revenue. It also introduced its Apple News partner program the same day, which halves Apple’s share of publishers joining Apple News.

As a backdrop, Apple and Google continue to face various lawsuits from Epic Games. In all of these lawsuits, Epic Games accuses the tech giants of engaging in anti-competitive and monopoly practices through their respective app stores.



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