South Korea Could Ban Apple From Requiring Developers to Use In-App Purchase System

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South Korea may soon ban Apple and Google from requiring app developers to use their in-app purchase systems, reports Reuters.

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South Korea’s legislation and judiciary committee is expected to approve an “Anti-Google Law” that amends the existing Telecommunications Business Act. It will require Apple and Google to allow third-party payment methods in their app stores in South Korea, and it will let developers use independent payment systems.

If the amendment is approved by the committee, the National Assembly of South Korea will hold a final vote on Wednesday. Support for the bill has been picking up, and earlier this month, officials in South Korea met with the founder of the Coalition for App Fairness and the senior vice president of Match Group, both vocal anti-Apple critics.

In a statement to Reuters, Apple said that the legislation “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.”

If passed, Apple believes the bill will cause user trust in App Store purchases to fall, which will lead to “fewer opportunities for the over 482,000 registered developers in Korea who have earned more than KRW8.55 trillion to date with Apple.”

Apple currently collects 15 to 30 percent commission on in-app purchases made through the ‌App Store‌, and developers are required to use the company’s in-app purchase system. Apple’s ‌App Store‌ rules and restrictions are at the heart of its legal battle with Epic Games and are the target of similar legislation in the United States and Europe.

An antitrust bill proposed in the United States earlier this month would force Apple and Google to allow third-party app stores and sideloading, while the European Commission last year introduced the Digital Markets Act that would regulate how app stores operate in Europe.

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