Apple’s App Store plans still don’t satisfy Korea; nor Google’s

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South Korea has stated that it is still not satisfied with Apple’s App Store plans to comply with a new antitrust law requiring developers to be able to choose third-party payment platforms.

The regulator has also expressed concern at Google’s plans, which include just a 4% reduction in the company’s app store commission if a developer uses a different payment processor …

Background

We’ve previously explained the background.

Apple’s monopoly on the sale of iOS apps has been the biggest antitrust concern surrounding the company. Apple tried to stave off regulatory pressure by reducing its commission from 30% to 15% for the vast majority of developers, but still lost a major US case banning developers from directing users to third-party payment platforms.

In South Korea, a law was passed that had the same effect of forcing both Google and Apple to allow app developers to use third-party payment platforms. 

The law came into effect back in September of last year, but Apple initially fought against compliance.

Apple’s App Store plans lack detail

Reuters reports that the regulator wants more detail from Apple about what the company will do to comply with the law.

Although the ordinance has not been finalised, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) believes that a compliance plan Apple submitted “still lacks concrete detail”, a KCC official told Reuters.

The KCC was in contact with Apple representatives for a more detailed compliance plan that goes beyond the general intention of allowing alternative payment systems, the official said.

It is also echoed concerns about Google’s response.

The official said the KCC was aware of concern over Google’s planned policy of only reducing its service charge to developers by 4 percentage points when users choose an alternative billing system, and the regulator is waiting for additional information from Google.

Korea also said that anything that made it difficult for a developer to switch to an external payment platform would not be acceptable. Some concern has been expressed that both Apple and Google would technically comply, but would make the process so unwieldy that developers would be deterred from switching.

Apple is also facing increasing pressure in the US to create a more open platform. The Biden administration and 35 US states have supported the appeal of Epic Games against Apple, and a co-sponsor of two antitrust bills has dismissed Apple’s objections. Apple continues to lobby against the bills, most recently sending a letter arguing that a more open system would harm user privacy.

Photo: Joongil Lee/Unsplash

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