South Korea lawmaker says Apple not doing enough to comply with app store payment systems law

Apple and Alphabet subsidiary Google aren’t doing enough to comply with South Korea’s law barring dominant app store operators from making app developers use only their proprietary payment systems, a lawmaker who spearheaded the amendment told Reuters.

Apple's App Store on iPhone
Apple’s App Store on iPhone


South Korea, the first country to impose legislation curbing the tech companies’ payment policies, is expected to make public the initial details of what it takes to comply with the law on Wednesday, an official at the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said.

Apple had told the South Korean government that it was already complying and did not need to change its app store policy, while Google said it plans to allow third-party payment systems in South Korea, but will only reduce its service fee charge to developers by 4 percentage points when users choose an alternative billing system.

“Frankly, we are not satisfied,” lawmaker Jo Seoung-lae who spearheaded the amendment 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,” Jo said.

The KCC is drafting “finely woven” regulatory details for the ordinance that will be reported to a parliamentary committee on Wednesday and put into practice by March next year, KCC Vice Chairman Kim Hyun told a conference on app ecosystem fairness on Tuesday. However, it is not clear how compliance will be enforced nor what the penalties will be if the rules are breached.

MacDailyNews Take: First of all, some excruciatingly basic logic: If there are no details as to what it take to comply, Apple cannot claim to be complying.

Once the thing is codified and put into practice “next March,” we’re sure Apple will take measures in response to this law. Perpetual Apple follower Google will, of course, simply do whatever Apple does, as usual.

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