Apple to Fix Unfair Commission for South Korea Developers

BY Dave Johnson

Published 26 Nov 2022

South Korea

A recent report suggests that Apple will fix an unfair commission issue that developers in South Korea are currently experiencing. 

In most cases, developers with apps on Apple App Stores have to pay a 30 percent commission to the tech giant for every sale. 

However, app creators in South Korea have to pay a little more. That’s because they usually pay a 10 percent local value-added tax (VAT) alongside the 30 percent commission. As a result, South Korean developers now pay an equivalent of 33 percent commission to Apple. 

But that could change soon. 

A recent The Times of India report revealed that Apple wants to correct its commission policy in South Korea voluntarily. The move came months after the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) launched a probe into the tech giant’s commission. 

“Recently, Apple said it will voluntarily correct the problematic action by January next year,” says the FTC chairperson Han Ki-Jeong. “Should Apple fix it well, it will ease difficulties for domestic app developers to some extent,” Han concluded. 

It’s unsurprising that Apple is reversing its App Store commission policy in South Korea. Here’s why. 

South Korea Antitrust Regulator’s Battle with Apple

Apple has had several scrapes with antitrust regulators in South Korea. 

Last year, the South Korean government passed a bill to prevent app store operators from forcing in-app payment. As a result, developers in the country could offer users an alternative payment system through the App Store. 

Similarly, the Korean Communication Commission (KCC) announced that it would launch a probe into various app store operators. These include the ONE store, Google Play, and Apple’s App Store. The KCC reportedly wants to determine whether these app stores violate the country’s revised Telecommunication Business Act. 

Meanwhile, Han says the FTC will continue monitoring fair practices in the app market to create a suitable ecosystem for operators and developers.