S. Korea may bar Apple and Google’s in-app billing systems

South Korea will likely bar Apple and Google from requiring app developers to use their own payment systems that charge them up to 30% for each in-app purchase and provide significant sources of income for the tech giants.

As reported by Reuters, the parliament’s legislation and judiciary committee is expected today to give an approval to the amendment of the Telecommunications Business Act, dubbed ‘’Anti-Google law’’, which targets tech companies that operate app stores in the country. If the committee approves the bill, there will be a final voting tomorrow. 

Google and Apple have been heavily criticized for not allowing developers to use alternative payment systems and making a great deal of money out of it. 

Last year, Epic’s battle royale title Fortnite was removed from Play Store and App Store after the developer added an alternative payment system bypassing the controversial 30% fee. 

Following the news which was met with global criticism, Apple lowered the 30% fee to 15% for developers earning less than $1 million per year and Google reduced it to 15% for the first $1 million earned each year. 

iOS users are not able to perform sideloading from other sources and there’s not an alternative to Apple’s App Store where they can download apps. So the App Store is the only place for app developers who want to reach iOS users and they have no choice but to pay 15% to 30% commission to the iPhone-maker if they want to offer in-app purchases. 

Apple publishes a new report explaining how allowing sideloading would expose iOS users to security risks

Although Android users have many more alternatives, Google Play Store is usually the first destination for them when they want to download apps. 

Last week, new unredacted documents were revealed as part of the ongoing Epic Games v. Google lawsuit. According to the documents, Epic claimed that Google paid ‘hundreds of millions’ of dollars to phone manufacturers for Play Store ‘exclusivity’ and top video game developers to keep them using the Play Store. 

Written by Maya Robertson


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