South Korea to investigate app stores over suspected in-app payment violations

Image Source: Reuters

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said on Tuesday it plans to launch an investigation into Apple, Google, and One Store over potential violations of in-app payment law.

The KCC says if it finds companies to be breaching the in-app payment rules, the potential fines for infractions could be up to 2% of the company’s average annual revenue for related business.

The KCC said it has been reviewing the practices of all three app stores since May 17 and has determined that they may have violated the country’s telecommunications law passed last year. According to local media reports, the agency will launch this investigation on August 16.

Last year in August, South Korea’s parliament passed a bill which bars tech companies operating app stores in the country including Apple and Google from requiring developers to use their own payment systems that charge them up to 30%. 

A couple of months ago, Apple announced that apps distributed on the App Store solely in South Korea can use the StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement to offer an alternative payment option.

“We have worked closely with government stakeholders and our developer community to expand user choice in Korea in compliance with the new law, while continuing to ensure we can invest in the ecosystem and provide a safe and high quality experience for all,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “As we have at each stage of this process, we’ll continue to cooperate with the KCC.”

Written by Sophie Blake


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