agreed South Korea’s parliament has passed a bill that makes it the first country to impose restrictions on Apple and Google’s payment policies that force developers to use only tech giants’ billing systems.
As a result, the legislation becomes law once President Moon Jae-in, whose party has been an outspoken supporter of the bill, signs it.
Apple and Google’s policies typically require developers to pay tech giants a commission of up to 30 percent of each transaction.
The legislation means developers are able to avoid paying a commission to major app store operators – such as Apple and Google – by directing users to pay via alternative platforms.
An Apple spokesperson said the bill puts users who purchase digital goods from other sources at risk of fraud. It undermines the protection of their privacy. And it makes it difficult to manage their purchases and features like Ask to Buy. Parental controls become less effective.
He added that user confidence in App Store purchases is likely to decline as a result of the legislation.
A Google spokesperson said the service fee helps keep Android free. Giving developers the global tools and platform to reach billions of consumers around the world.
A Google spokesperson added: “We are thinking about how to comply with this law while maintaining a model that supports a high-quality operating system and app store.”
Korea forces Apple and Google to open App Store payments
The law, sometimes referred to as the Anti-Google Act, was introduced to Parliament last August.
The law is designed to prevent app store operators in dominant positions from charging app developers with payment systems and improperly delaying or blocking app reviews.
As a result, the law gives the Korean government the power to mediate disputes related to payment, cancellation, and refunds in the app market.
Epic Games, the company behind the popular game Fortnite, built its own payment system into the game last year. This is part of an attempt to circumvent current Apple and Google policies.
Several other companies, including Spotify, have said in recent years that the tech giants should allow them to use their payment systems.
Regulators around the world are focusing more on app stores and the fees that Google and Apple charge developers.
Moreover, the ruling in South Korea is likely to be the first step towards greater scrutiny.
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