South Korean Bill Limits Apple and Google Control Over Payment Methods

Apple and Google can no longer force app developers to use their payment methods.

Apple and Google can no longer force app developers to use their payment methods.

A major point of contention in digital markets around the world is the forced use of certain payment methods on app stores. Whether developers list their apps on Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store, Apple and Google’s respective payment methods take a 30% commission from any payments received. These app taxes have been a sticking point for small business app developers who are tired of paying fines to Apple and Google. While here in the states, companies have been waging private lawsuits, elsewhere, the governments themselves have taken up arms.

The South Korean parliament passed a new bill today that prevents Apple and Google from forcing their respective stores’ payment methods onto app developers. Once the bill is signed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, it will become law.

Spokespeople for Apple and Google have both expressed concerns with the bill. The Apple spokesperson said that it 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.”

The Google spokesperson added that there is a practical reason for the 30% service fee, saying it “helps keep Android free, giving developers the tools and global platform to access billions of consumers around the world.”

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