South Korea passes ‘Anti-Google law’ bill to limit Google & Apple in-app payment commission

Suhaib Ahmed

31st Aug, 2021. 08:05 pm
South Korea passes ‘Anti-Google law’ bill to limit Google & Apple in-app payment commission

Today, after several delays, South Korea National Assembly approved the passage of its “Anti-Google law.” The law will stop Google and Apple from pressurizing developers to use their in-app billing systems when constructing apps for their two market-dominating app stores.

This is the first time worldwide that a government got involved in the prevention of Google and Apple imposing their payment rails on in-app purchases.

Google and Apple have been gradually under inspection over the restrictive features of their systems in other markets, and now many will be watching if the move in South Korea becomes a tipping point, where Google and Apple might be subjected to similar measures in other countries.

As per the media reports Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is also considering guidelines for the digital payments system of Apple, Google and WeChat.

On 25th August, South Korea’s preliminary committee voted to continue with the revised Telecommunication Business Act, in the hunt to restrict Google and Apple from charging app developer’s commission on in-app purchases.

Since August 2020, lawmakers in South Korea have offered bills to forbid the global tech companies from using their dominance in the app payment market.

Google in March 2021 decreased its commission to 15% from an original 30% for all in-app purchases to quiet down app developers. Then again four months later, it declared that it will push back its new in-app billing system to March 2022.

Whereas, Apple in August 2021 proposed a settlement in a lawsuit filed against it by software developers in the United States that notes Apple will permit app developers to direct their payment options outside of their iOS app or the App Store, though it didn’t go as far as permitting app developers to include different methods of payment within app themselves.

Apple said, “the proposed Telecommunications Business Act 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, and features like ‘Ask to Buy’ and Parental Controls will become less effective.”

 

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