Korean Startups Call for Investigation into Apple and Google In-App Purchases

Multiple startup companies in Korea are calling for an investigation into Apple and Google's in-app purchase practices, reports The Korea Herald.

An alliance of app developers and small companies submitted a petition to the Korea Communications Commission earlier today, asking for an investigation into whether Apple and Google may be violating Korean laws on in-app purchases and anti-competitive behavior.

They explain that Apple has been forcing developers to use their specific in-app purchase system since 2011, through which Apple takes a 30 percent commission. Google demands game apps in Korea use its own in-app purchase module and adds an additional game-only commission.

"While the 30 percent commission rate is too high in itself, it is more problematic that they force a specific payment system for the app markets," said Choi Sung-jin, President of the Korea Startup Forum.

Sung-jin added that while large developers may be able to negotiate lower rates of commission with platform providers, it is out of reach to smaller developers and startups who cannot afford to do so. Moreover, they fear that setting about a negotiation could eventually lead to a hike in in-app purchase commissions.

Apple and Google made up 87.8 percent of the Korean app market in 2019, and the issue is effectively an antitrust dispute. The Korean offices of Apple and Google did not provide a comment.

Tech companies are coming under fire in antitrust complaints around the world, with investigations underway in the U.S., the EU, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Russia. Companies such as Microsoft, Spotify, Airbnb, and Epic Games have also joined calls for greater control over app store terms and rates of commission.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
6 weeks ago


As much as I love Apple, I'm very glad that their monopolistic position gets investigated. Developers simply do not have a choice. Sure they can neglect the Apple App Store but that means they're missing out on a lot of sales.

Something has to be done.

In an ideal situation Apple should allow third party stores and services. They could make it so that these stores first have to comply to a set of rules and have their code checked.

I support the investigations, too. But I am against the 3rd party app stores, period.

I choose Apple for their emphasis on privacy and keeping the Ecosystem clean and tidy for the best user experience. I understand that some feel differently and that's why there are other ecosystems/platforms to choose.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
6 weeks ago
As much as I love Apple, I'm very glad that their monopolistic position gets investigated. Developers simply do not have a choice. Sure they can neglect the Apple App Store but that means they're missing out on a lot of sales.

Something has to be done.

In an ideal situation Apple should allow third party stores and services. They could make it so that these stores first have to comply to a set of rules and have their code checked.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
6 weeks ago
Let's entertain the whole economy with this:

I want a Tesla but I want a V8. This is anti-competitive, why should I have to choose an electric Motor. I want Tesla's Tech but with a ICE. What#s gonna happen?

I want HBO content but I want it on Netflix. Why should I buy HBO subscription for only one content? I want to watch the Irishman on Amazon Prime. What is gonna happen?

I want Final Cut Pro X on Windows. Why should I have to buy a mac for it?

This is endless and nonsense.

Stick to the monopoly part and adjust the charges/fees down from 30% if needed but do not force everything outside the ecosystem into it. This is not OK.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
6 weeks ago


I would never in a million years use some random in-app credit card service to buy something. These developers are dreaming if they think people will use anything other then Apple to pay for things in their apps.

Yeah, sure. As if people did not pay for tenths of things outside the App Store using a myriad of platforms for payment without even noticing. I know you want to defend Apple at all costs but these arguments are getting ridiculous.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
6 weeks ago


Developers simply do not have a choice.

We (the devs) have much more choice than we had before iPhone was released. They are just a bunch of entitled crybabies ??‍♂️
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
6 weeks ago
This is getting silly.

Apple produces the hardware for these apps to run on.

They also produce the OS the apps run on.

They provide the storefront for these apps to be hosted on. Allowing the storefront to deal with the payment, distribution and customer service for the purchase of these apps.

if a company wants to produce software for running on these specific devices they can understand and agree to these terms.

If they think this is anti competitive they can put their software somewhere else.

Everyone on the App Store is on a level playing field. If you don’t think you’re getting enough then you’re not pricing your apps appropriately.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Feature Tour, 'iPhone 12 mini' Rumors, Apple Watch Band Controversy

Saturday September 26, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Things started to calm down a bit this week following last week's rush of media event, Apple Watch and iPad launches, and the release of iOS 14 and other operating updates. But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a lot of news, from digging deeper into iOS 14 to more iPhone 12 rumors to the uproar over trying to exchange band sizes on the new Apple Watch. On top of all of that, we heard...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...

New Images Leak of iPhone 12 Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:37 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design. Images of the purported cables were leaked in July, and today leaker Mr White has shared new images that give us a closer look at what we might get included in the iPhone 12 box. The photos show a USB-C to Lightning cable with a clearly braided design rather...

New Version of Microsoft Office Coming Next Year That Won't Require a Subscription

Thursday September 24, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Microsoft will next year offer a new perpetual release of Microsoft Office for Mac and Windows that doesn't require a subscription to use, according to the software giant (via Windows Central). "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021," said Microsoft in a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange server,...

Video Offers Closer Look at Apple Face Mask

Friday September 25, 2020 5:25 am PDT by
YouTube channel Unbox Therapy has today shared a new video giving a closer look at Apple's reusable face masks for corporate and retail employees. Apple's own face mask was designed by the company's Engineering and Industrial Design teams amid the global health crisis for corporate and retail employees, and the boxes include Apple's famous "Designed by Apple in California" text. The...

Upcoming Xbox App Update Will Let Xbox Users Stream Games to iPhone and iPad

Friday September 25, 2020 11:58 am PDT by
Microsoft is testing a new version of its Xbox app that will let Xbox users play games remotely on their iPhones and iPads using streaming functionality. The new feature was rolled out to TestFlight users this morning. The Xbox streaming option is distinct from Microsoft's xCloud service, which it has been clashing with Apple over. xCloud is designed to stream games from Microsoft's servers, ...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.7 With Fixes for WiFi Bug, 27-Inch iMac Graphics Issues

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:32 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.7, the latest update to the macOS Catalina software. macOS Catalina 10.15.7 fixes several major bugs that Mac users have been experiencing, and it comes a month after the latest macOS Catalina release. The ‌‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌‌ 10.15.6 Supplemental Update can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the System...

iOS 14: 'Phoenix 2' Space Shooter Delivers Playable Demo via App Clips

Saturday September 26, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
One of the new features that arrived in iOS 14 is called App Clips. App Clips is described by Apple to be a "small part of your app" that can be available to users at just the right moment.App Clips focus on finishing one task quickly. An ideal App Clip experience allows users to open and complete a task in seconds. Instead of requiring an App Store download, they can be loaded and run via...

Apple's iPhone 12 Event Could Happen on October 13 Based on Rumors From Mobile Operators

Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone-centric event could perhaps be held on Tuesday, October 13, according to information shared with MacRumors by an employee at a UK cellular carrier. There's no way for us to confirm the dates at this point in time nor are we sure on the credibility of the source, but even without a rumor, Tuesday, October 13 is a good guess based on Apple's historic launch timelines, ...