As voters of the South Korean parliamentary committee, Apple and Google will face restrictions on in-app purchase fees

South Korea’s parliamentary committee voted on Wednesday to recommend amending a law that is a key step in prohibiting Google and Apple from compulsory charging commissions for in-app purchases from software developers. This is the first such break in a major economy. Faced with global criticism because they require software developers who use their app store to use a proprietary payment system that charges up to 30% commission. 

In a statement on Tuesday, Apple stated that the bill would “make users who purchase digital products from other sources face the risk of fraud and undermine their privacy protection”, undermine users’ confidence in App Store purchases, and provide South Korean developers Create fewer opportunities. Wilson White, Google’s senior director of public policy, said that “the hasty process cannot adequately analyze the negative impact of this legislation on Korean consumers and app developers.” 

Experts say app store operators can cooperate with developers and other companies. Ensure the security of the payment system, not their own. “It’s not just Google and Apple that can create secure payment systems,” said Lee Hwang, a professor at Korea University Law School who specializes in competition law. Some of the world’s strongest legal protections for online transactions, they say that app store operators should provide advanced services to drive profits. 

“Dominant app store operators with large platforms should now seek to benefit from value-added services, rather than cutting down on the apps sold in stores,” said Yoo Byung-Joon, a professor at the Seoul National University Business School who specializes in e-commerce. 

According to the records of the Korean Parliament, the amendment prohibits app store operators with dominant market positions from imposing payment systems on content providers and “improperly” delaying censorship or removing mobile content applications from the mobile market. 

It also allows the South Korean government to require app market operators to “prevent damage to users and protect user rights”, investigate app market operators and mediate disputes related to app market payment, cancellation, or rebates. In order to amend the telecom business bill called the “Anti-Google Act”, the amendment will be voted on in Parliament. 

A parliament official told Reuters that the vote will be held on Wednesday, but the meeting was temporarily postponed to August 30. In the United States this month, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill that would restrict the app stores of companies that they believe have too much control over the market, including Apple and Google.

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