Tech companies Apple and Google are not doing enough to comply with South Korea’s new app store law that prohibits app store operators from forcing developers to use their own payment systems according to the lawmaker that drove the legislation.
S. Korean lawmaker says tech companies not doing enough to comply with new app store law
Through an amendment to the Telecommunication Business Act, South Korea is the first country to stop tech companies from forcing developers to use their native payment systems. The law came into effect in September but the initial details of what is necessary to comply with it will be announced by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) tomorrow, Reuters reports.
The Cupertino tech giant reportedly told the South Korean government that is already in compliance with the law and does not need to modify its App Store policies. On the other hand, Google recently announced that developers will be given an option to add an alternative in-app billing system along with Play Store’s own payment system in South Korea. Having said that, the company will only reduce its commission rate by just 4% for developers using their own payment system.
“Frankly, we are not satisfied… Apple’s claim that it’s already complying is nonsensical,” lawmaker Jo Seoung-lae said. “Excessive fees take away developers’ chances for innovation … parliament is to be closely informed as the government drafts detailed regulations to make sure there is accountability.”
As of now, it is unclear how companies like Apple and Google will be sanctioned if they do not comply with the new law but according to a draft seen by Reuters, it may involve fines of up to two percent of a company’s revenue.
In related news, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney recently accused Apple of complying with “oppressive foreign laws” and called for a universal app store in an interview at the Global Conference for Mobile Application Ecosystem Fairness in Seoul. “Apple locks a billion users into one store and payment processor,” Sweeney said. “Now Apple complies with oppressive foreign laws, which surveil users and deprive them of political rights. But Apple is ignoring laws passed by Korea’s democracy. Apple must be stopped.”
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