South Korea Gives Apple, Google Deadline for Submitting Plans to Allow Third-Party IAP Systems

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 29 Sep 2021

App Store

South Korea has recently amended a law that bars tech giants Apple and Google from forcing developers to use proprietary in-app purchase payment systems for their respective app stores. The companies must submit compliance reports by mid-October.

In August, the South Korean government passed an amendment to an existing law banning Apple and Google from compelling developers to use proprietary in-app purchase payment systems for the Apple App Store and Google Play Store respectively. Both tech giants have now been asked to provide compliance plans for the amended law. Apple and Google earn a handsome 15 to 30% commission on all purchases made using the corresponding proprietary in-app purchasing systems. This has attracted regulatory scrutiny for some time now.

In the context of the recent verdict passed in the Apple vs. Epic Games lawsuit, Apple has been forced to revise its App Store model. It has made some concessions, now allowing developers to add links in their apps to external payment gateways. However, this concession falls short of South Korea’s mandate that would permit developers to add third-party payment methods directly within their apps. The South Korean amendment is yet to come into effect.

Meanwhile, Apple continues to defend its in-app purchasing system, calling it the most trusted and safest way for customers to make purchases. Apple prefers to operate the App Store under the same policies worldwide. The South Korean amendment might pertain only to South Korean users, but it could set off a chain reaction around the world, prompting governments to force Apple to bend in the better interest of application developers.

[Via Reuters]