Apple Critisizes South Korea’s Bill That Allows Developer to use Third-Party In-App Payments

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 24 Aug 2021

iPhone App Store

In the recent past, Apple has been taking the flak for forcing developers to implement their payment options. Last year Fortnite integrated its payment system only to be banned from App Store. Now South Korea is on the verge of approving an amendment to its Telecommunications Business Act. The amendment forces Apple and Google to add third-party payment options in their app store. The regulatory is expected to announce a final decision on August 25. Apple has aired concerns on how the new amendment will affect privacy protections on App Store.

The final vote is scheduled for tomorrow, and in all likelihood, the amendment could get passed. Dubbed as “Anti-Google law,” the amendment needs approval from parliament’s legislation and judiciary committee.

South Korea is likely to bar Google and Apple from requiring software developers to use their payment systems, effectively stopping them from charging commissions on in-app purchases, the first such curbs on the tech giants by a major economy.

Apple put a statement that says the bill “will put users who purchase digital goods from other sources at risk of fraud, undermine their privacy protections, make it difficult to manage their purchases.” Apple highlights how “user trust in App Store purchases will decrease as a result of this proposal.” Furthermore, the company adds how this could dent developers’ earnings.

Our Take

South Korea is not the only country investigating Apple’s App Store policy. Last year EU proposed a Digital Markets Act that could end store commissions. Both Apple and Google have announced that they will lower App Store fees to 15% on the first $1 million revenue. A similar bill was introduced in Georgia; however, Apple allegedly managed to kill the bill with the help of intense lobbying.

[via Reuters]