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South Korea Passes Bill Limiting Apple & Google’s Payment Dominance

 |  August 31, 2021

The South Korean parliament approved a bill on Tuesday, August 31, that will ban major app store operators — like Google and Apple — from requiring developers to only use their payment systems to process the sale of digital products and services, reported The Wall Street Journal.

The legislation will become law once signed by President Moon Jae-in, whose party has been a vocal supporter of the bill.

Apple and Google’s policies usually require developers to pay the tech giants a commission as high as 30% of every transaction.

The bill, approved Tuesday, means that developers will be able to avoid paying commission to major app store operators — like Google and Apple — by directing users to pay via alternate platforms.

An Apple spokesperson said the bill 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.”

They added that user trust in App Store purchases will likely decrease as a result of the legislation.

A Google spokesperson said its service fee “helps keep Android free, giving developers the tools and global platform to access billions of consumers around the world.”

“We’ll reflect on how to comply with this law while maintaining a model that supports a high-quality operating system and app store, and we will share more in the coming weeks,” the Google spokesperson added.

Related: South Korea Wants To Curb Google & Apple Commission Policy

The law, sometimes referred to as the Anti-Google Law, was submitted to parliament last August, according to Yonhap News.

It is designed to prevents app store operators with dominant positions from forcing payment systems on app developers and “inappropriately” delaying app reviews or blocks, according to Reuters.

The law also gives the South Korean government the power to mediate disputes regarding payment, cancellations, and refunds in the app market, according to reports.

South Korean parliament approved the bill, and some 180 of the attending lawmakers voted in favor of passing the amendment made to the Telecommunications Business Act, Reuters reported.